Driiven by the Covid-19 pandemic, Initial unemployment claims hit 3.3 million, more than 5 times the previous record, last week.
By way of perspective, this is 2% of the whole workforce, so this number of initial claims constitutes about a 50% increase in the unemployment rate ……… In just week.
Unemployment rates could be over 10% by the end of April.
This could end up an economic collapse of biblical proportions, real wrath of God type stuff, Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!*
A record 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as restaurants, hotels, barber shops, gyms and more shut down in a nationwide effort to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Last week saw the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982. Many economists say this is the beginning of a massive spike in unemployment that could result in over 40 million Americans losing their jobs by April.
Laid off workers say they waited hours on the phone to apply for help. Websites in several states, including New York and Oregon, crashed because so many people were trying to apply at once.
“The most terrifying part about this is this is likely just the beginning of the layoffs,” said Martha Gimbel, a labor economist at Schmidt Futures.
The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, a half-century low, but that has likely risen already to 5.5 percent, according to calculations by Gimbel. The nation hasn’t seen that level of unemployment since 2015.
As an aside, even accounting for the aging of the workforce, workforce participation is still lower than it was before the 2008 recession, meaning that the labor market had still not recovered from the prior recession.
And now our economy is collapsing faster than an Eastern European nations experiencing American directed shock therapy after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.†
*Yes, this was a cheap attempt to invoke Ghostbusters.
†And I get to do All About Eve as well. Win.