Professor predicts COVID-19 crash will be subject of economic papers for years to come

(The Center Square) – An Illinois professor of economics said he expects it will take some time for the economy to get back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carl Campbell, professor of economics at Northern Illinois University, said even he was startled by the number of unemployment claims.

“I didn’t expect 10 percent of the workforce to become unemployed within a three week period,” Campbell said. “That’s pretty much unprecedented in economic history.”

Campbell said he thinks the expanded federal unemployment benefits will lessen the impact as long as people can apply. It is no secret Illinoisans have experienced issues with the IDES website and some are unable to get through to the call center.

Campbell said he expected some businesses would begin to open up in May, but not at full capacity.

“A lot of people will still be scared to go to restaurants, so they might be operating at half their previous capacity, so half of the employees will find jobs and half will be unemployed,” Campbell said. “It may be the same for a lot of other industries.”

Campbell said he expects to see a number of economic papers written during the next decade trying to explain what happened, but he said the situation was totally outside “textbook economics.”

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