Global economy screeches to a halt as coronavirus job losses take toll

The shock of the coronavirus is hitting the economy like another Great Depression — and Americans aren’t alone in their misery.

A tsunami of job losses and welfare claims in Britain, the European Union and Asia in the last two weeks parallel the 10 million unemployment claims in the US as businesses around the world shutter to keep COVID-19 at bay.

“We see unemployment rates in the US and Europe getting up well up into the teens,” Deutsche Bank’s Peter Hooper told Bloomberg. “This is unprecedented since the Great Depression, in terms of magnitudes.”

In the UK, where 27% of businesses are cutting staff, a million workers have applied for welfare benefits. In Germany, 470,000 companies applied for government aid — a sign that a fifth of workers are facing wage cuts. Similar effects are expected in France. And a third of Thailand’s population — 23 million workers — signed up for government aid in less than a week.

It’s a “crisis like no other,” International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.

The US economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday, kicking the unemployment rate up to 4.4% — in a report that did not account for the 10 million jobless claims filed in the last two weeks.