Hey, remember back when 3.3 million new jobless claims in only one week seemed like big news? C’mon, sure ya do. It was only last week.
Workers claiming new unemployment benefits swelled to a record 6.6 million last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses across the country to shut down.
The historic jobless number, about double what forecasters expected, exceeds the previous record set last week of 3.2 million requesting unemployment benefits.
The past two weeks have been record-breakers in terms of job losses as the virus has infected over 215,000 people in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. The previous record high for weekly jobless claims was 695,000 in September of 1982.
Over the past two weeks, 10 million workers have been separated from their jobs and applied for unemployment benefits, and probably many more have lost work but not signed up for benefits. In other words, about 6% of all payroll workers have lost their jobs, meaning that the unemployment rate is likely already above 10%, as high as it ever was in the Great Recession.
In fairness, thanks to some devious sleight of hand under Ogabe’s misrule that quietly erased those who had thrown up their hands in despair and just given up all hope of finding a job from the “unemployed” category, those Great Obama Recession stats were complete bunk. The true number, according to some more honest estimations, ranged from 12 to 18 percent—with a few sources claiming it might have been over 20, even. Regardless of which of those estimates you go with, though, the rosy fiction promoted by Ogabe rumpswabs of 5 to 7 percent had no relationship whatsoever with the grimmer reality.
God knows where the numbers will end up after the current fiasco finally winds down. But it ain’t gonna be any place we want to be, that’s for sure. And we’ll be a long, long time recovering from it, too.
Update! We’re in uncharted territory now, folks.
We have never seen a week like this before, and we may never see a week quite this bad again. Of course millions more jobs will be lost in the months ahead as this pandemic stretches on, but it is hard to imagine another spike like we just had. When you add the last two weeks together, somewhere around 10 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims during that time period.
As I noted yesterday, the St. Louis Fed expects the unemployment rate to eventually hit 32 percent. That won’t happen immediately, but if we do get there it will be worse than anything that we witnessed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Because of all the shutdowns that have been instituted nationwide, economic activity has already dropped to levels that we have never seen before in our entire history.
Snyder cites serious food supply disruptions; spiralling mortgage defaults; the sudden tsunami of near-worthless scrip-dollars from Washington in a desperate attempt to stanch the bleeding, and the runaway inflation that will inevitably spawn, before concluding:
Even before any of us ever heard of “COVID-19”, our world was already descending into madness, but now this pandemic has certainly accelerated things.
Millions of Americans have already lost their jobs, and the days ahead are going to be exceedingly challenging.
This is what an economic collapse looks like, and it is just getting started.
Looks like hard times a-coming, with no way to reverse course and avert disaster.