The unique character of this economic collapse, triggered by an ongoing public health crisis, may lead to an enduring decline in the demand for labor. While the pandemic rages, companies are developing new ways to operate with fewer people, replacing the lost workers with machines that are impervious to illness…

Older workers, a steadily rising fraction of the labor force in recent years, face special challenges. The novel coronavirus is particularly deadly for them, leading President Trump to suggest earlier this week that teachers aged 60 and above “should not be teaching school for a while.”

Young people graduating this spring into a gale of joblessness are likely to see their lifetime earnings depressed as a result of the poor labor market. That’s what happened to their predecessors who graduated into the double-dip recession of the early 1980s.

Political stability, too, will be tested.