• New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the US economy won’t recover on its own because “too many small businesses have closed” and corporations won’t rehire as many workers as they laid off.
  • “They had fewer workers and used more technology and they’re going to decide: ‘Well, we don’t need as many workers,'” he said during a press conference Sunday.
  • Cuomo said the government will need to play a role in stimulating a post-pandemic economy by working with the private sector and investing in infrastructure projects, education, and telemedicine.
  • During the week ending May 16, 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment, bringing the 9-week total to nearly 39 million, as the coronavirus continues to devastate the US economy.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the US economy won’t bounce back to pre-pandemic levels on its own because corporations won’t rehire workers they laid off and small businesses have been hit hard.

“I don’t believe this economy just bounces back,” Cuomo said. “Too many small businesses have closed, you’ll see many of these corporations are going to use this as an opportunity to lay off workers.”

Cuomo predicted that companies won’t rehire all of the employees they fire or furlough as a result of the coronavirus.

“Many businesses will have gone through this period where workers were at home. They had fewer workers and used more technology and they’re going to decide: ‘Well, we don’t need as many workers,'” he said.

Economic fallout from the coronavirus has been swift, devastating businesses across virtually every sector of the economy, and companies have laid off a record number of employees.

Jobless claims in the US for the week that ended May 16 reached 2.4 million, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 39 million. More claims have been filed in the past nine weeks than were filed during the entire Great Recession, which lasted 18 months, according to the US Labor Department and Federal Reserve Economic Data.

Cuomo said the economy will look different moving forward than it did pre-pandemic due to technology automating some jobs away and people continuing to work remotely, and that government will need to “play a role” in reviving it.

“It’s going to be about government working with the private sector, working with businesses to jumpstart the economy to stimulate it, to get some big projects going that gets the business sector engaged and confident and believing once again,” he said.

Cuomo said improving or building new airports, mass transit systems, and roads and bridges as well as investing in education technology and telemedicine services are ways New York is hoping to accomplish that.

The governor has tasked several billionaires in recent weeks with advising him on how to make those investments moving forward. Earlier in May, Cuomo tapped former Google CEO and Chairman Eric Schmidt to chair a commission aimed at “reimagining” the state’s relationship with technology.

He has also recruited philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to help design a plan to reopen the state’s public schools this fall and convinced former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg to spend $10 million of his own fortune to work with Johns Hopkins University on developing a contact tracing program for the tri-state area.

Cuomo said New York is “decidedly in the reopening phase” for now, but that the next phase, “which we’re going to begin preparing for soon, is rebuilding and recreating the economy.”

States and the federal government have already put trillions of dollars collectively toward emergency coronavirus relief, including a $2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress in March. Democrats in the House have approved an additional $3 trillion bailout, though it is unlikely to be backed by Senate Republicans, who have expressed disapproval of the bill.

Cuomo criticized the March stimulus bill, saying not enough funding would go to New York, which has been hit hardest by the virus, The New York Times reported last month. An analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities found that New York could receive as little as $23,000 per COVID-19 case, while smaller states like Alaska could get as much as $3.4 million per case.

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