U.S. Industrial Shutdowns Nearing Post-WWII Levels

Nationwide lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are straining American industry.
Posted at 6:33 PM, Apr 15, 2020

American industry deflated last month to levels not seen since the U.S. demobilized following WWII.

The U.S. economy has continued to struggle amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Reserve said manufacturing output fell 6.3% in March, with the automotive industry taking the brunt of the hit.

With lockdowns and stay-at-home orders being issued to combat COVID-19,  many factories and manufacturing plants are stuck in limbo.

Industrial production as a whole, including utilities and mining, has also fallen 5.4%. Politico reports that based on new claims filed in late March and early April, one in 10 U.S. workers were seeking unemployment benefits.

Rep. Don Beyer of the congressional Joint Economic Committee said: "This is a catastrophe. Nearly 17 million Americans have lost their jobs and they likely won't find another one until the contagion is under control — and that may be a long way off."

Some 80 million Americans are expected to receive their federal stimulus checks this week, but not everyone's convinced that money will be enough.

House Democrats have introduced a bill that would put up to $2,000 into some Americans' pockets each month until the economy is stronger. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are reportedly already in talks with the Treasury Department about additional relief measures.