Op-Ed: As coronavirus increases unemployment, federal aid helps small businesses survive pandemic

This article originally appeared on Fox News on April 4, 2020.

The March jobs report issued Friday by the Labor Department proves two things.

First, it shows how important it is to our nation’s wellbeing that we entered the current coronavirus crisis with a strong labor market.

And second, the report shows that the Trump administration was right to insist on including robust support for small businesses in the $2.2 trillion emergency economic relief package known as the CARES Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law by the president.

According to the Friday report, the U.S. economy shed 701,000 jobs in March, sending the unemployment rate up to 4.4 percent from a 50-year low of 3.5 percent in February.

The March unemployment rates reflect just the preliminary effects of the closing of many businesses to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19.

Unfortunately, we know unemployment will go higher before it goes down again. Roughly 10 million workers have filed unemployment claims over just the past two weeks, as businesses all over the country curtailed operations in compliance with stay-at-home orders and the guidelines issued by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

This means difficult times are ahead for many individuals and families. But shutting down the economy for a short period to save lives and avoid overstressing our medical facilities was the right move.

Now for some good news. While we are heading into rough economic waters, we are heading into them from the strongest labor market in modern history.

Click here to read the full article.

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