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Peak US unemployment rate for calendar year 2020:

Cross-posted on Metaculus.

In February 2020, the US unemployment rate fell from 3.6% to 3.5%, the lowest level in more than 50 years. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated shutdowns of economic activity, it is widely expected that the unemployment rate will rise substantially in 2020, perhaps dramatically so.

In late March, the US saw its worst initial jobless claims number ever, with over 3.28 million people losing their jobs in a single week. This was more than quadruple the previous record high, and 30 standard deviations above the mean. Estimates by the US Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis suggest that the US unemployment rate could exceed 32% - this would be profoundly bad, approximately treble the highest unemployment rate in recent history in the US, 10.8% reached in 1982.

This question asks: For the calendar year 2020, what will be the highest monthly unemployment rate reached in any month?

Resolution should cite the official US unemployment rate from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Employment Situation report.


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