NEW YORK (CBSNEWS.COM) – In early March, most economists expected the U.S. to take only a mild knock from the coronavirus. But in a sign of the pandemic’s scale and speed, many of those same experts are now warning that growth could fall by double-digits. The Federal Reserve of St. Louis estimates the nation’s jobless rate could hit a staggering 32% within months.

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That would far exceed the high-water mark for unemployment during the Great Depression, when it reached 25% in 1933, four years after the stock market collapsed.

The swiftness of the current downturn is breathtaking, with the St. Louis Fed estimating that more than 47 million workers could be out of work by the end of June — almost 1 in 3 employees.

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