Anil Puri, Mira Farka

Anil Puri, Mira Farka

Orange County’s unemployment rate may spike at 17% in the next three months, and won’t come down to pre-pandemic levels until 2022 at the earliest, according to California State University-Fullerton economists in their Spring Economic Forecast.

“Tough times are ahead,” said Woods Center for Economic Research Analysis and Forecasting Director Anil Puri.

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He and co-director Mira Farka project that OC unemployment will average 11.5% in the second quarter, which ends on June 30. They said that “in the next three months the unemployment rate may go up to 15% to 17% for a month or two before it comes down.”

“It will start declining but it will not reach the level of 2.5%-3% until after 2021,” according to their report presented online rather than in person due to the COVID-19 prevention measures.

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