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Unemployment numbers to get worse, 'could be' 25%: Mnuchin

Evie Fordham

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The U.S. unemployment rate will likely get worse before it gets better, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday after unemployment hit 14.7 percent last week, the highest level since the Great Depression.

Actual U.S. unemployment "could be" close to Great Depression levels at 25 percent, Mnuchin said.

UNEMPLOYMENT SURGED TO 14.7% IN APRIL, HIGHEST SINCE GREAT DEPRESSION

"Unlike the Great Depression where you had economic issues that led to this, we closed down the economy," Mnuchin said on "Fox News Sunday." "The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better. That's why we're focused on rebuilding this economy."

The "biggest component" of job losses was in travel, retail and leisure, Mnuchin said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC DECIMATED THESE INDUSTRIES IN APRIL AS ECONOMY LOST 20.5M JOBS

Mnuchin has predicted a "better" third and fourth quarter and a "great" 2021.

"My numbers aren't rosy. … You're going to see a bounceback from a low standpoint," Mnuchin said. "My predictions are based on what I see is the rate of reopening in a careful way."

More than a decade of job gains were erased in April; the stunning job losses are more than double what the U.S. saw during the 2008 financial crisis.

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