The US economy has been in freefall for nearly a year, and the recession has taken a severe toll on the country’s middle class, according to a new report.
In a new analysis of the economy published Monday, the Congressional Budget Office found that the country is headed for a “deep recession” with unemployment nearing a historic high, a condition the US has not seen since the Great Depression.
The unemployment rate rose to 10.3% in September, from 9.4% a month earlier.
That’s the highest it has been since the recession began, and it is likely to be the highest for years to come, CBO found.
“We are now in a recession, not a recovery,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said at a news conference on Monday.
According to the report, the US was one of only four major economies that had an annual growth rate below 2%.
That is a key distinction for economists, as many of the world’s major economies were booming prior to the crisis, when the United States was in a prolonged downturn.
Falling wages, stagnant wages, and an economy with declining employment, particularly among young people, has been the theme of President Donald Trump’s presidency.
While the country has lost more than 1.2 million jobs in the past six months, unemployment has been lower than it was in January 2018.
Still, the CBO found that workers earning more than $75,000 a year will not see any income tax relief for a decade, and that the unemployment rate will remain above 8%.
While Trump’s efforts to rein in Wall Street have failed, his administration has taken steps to curb corporate tax avoidance and to help the middle class.
But he has also tried to dole out billions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals, and has pushed for tax hikes on the wealthy.
Trump’s proposal to slash the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15% and the estate tax to only 15% has been met with skepticism from Democrats and others.
Democrats, meanwhile, have criticized Trump’s tax plan, arguing that it would leave the middle-class footing the bill.