Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday the US could see full employment next year if Congress passes President Joe Biden’s proposed stimulus package, but warned the country’s unemployment rate would remain elevated over the next few years without the additional $1.9 trillion in federal support.
“I would expect that if this package is passed that we would get back to full employment next year,” Yellen told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“The Congressional Budget Office issued an analysis recently and it showed that if we don’t provide additional support, the unemployment rate is going to stay elevated for years to come,” she added. “It would take (until) 2025 in order to get the unemployment rate down to 4% again.”
Full employment does not mean the unemployment rate is at zero, but, instead, generally that employers have hired as many qualified professionals as they need.
The CBO said in a report issued last week that the number of employed Americans won’t return to its pre-pandemic level until 2024, showing just how long the job market still has to go to heal after suffering the steepest loss on record in April, when 20.5 million jobs were lost and the unemployment rate shot up to 14.7% in a single month as the coronavirus ravaged the country.
This story is breaking and will be updated.