Senior White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said on Sunday that America’s “human capital stock” is ready to get back work as the country takes steps towards reopening.
Speaking to CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Hassett discussed future unemployment and America’s readiness to lift measures put in place to tackle the novel coronavirus spread.
“Our capital stock hasn’t been destroyed, our human capital stock is ready to get back to work, and so there are lots of reasons to believe that we can get going way faster than we have in previous crises,” Hassett said.
It’s unclear what Hassett meant by “human capital stock.” He did not immediately respond to Business Insider to elaborate on the topic.
In his interview, Hassett also discussed the country’s projected unemployment rate and said that it will be higher in June than May before starting to trend down.
“I think that yes, unemployment will be something that moves back slower,” Hassett said. “You’re going to be starting at a number in the 20s and working your way down and so, of course, you could still not be back to full employment by September or October.”
He added that he would be “way more optimistic” about the future of US employment if there was a vaccine available by July, and said that the unemployment rate could still be in the double digits through November.
A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics published on May 22 said that 43 states set historic levels of unemployment in April.
Hassett’s statements come as the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits continues to grow. Last week, the US weekly jobless claims hit 2.4 million, bringing the nine-week total to nearly 39 million.
As of Monday evening, over 1.6 million Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus, and nearly 100,000 people have died from the virus.
NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown