U-3 and U-6 Unemployment rate.

For a number of years I have been tracking the monthly unemployment data. That information is shown in the graph above. Included is monthly information back to April 2010. Prior to that I only picked up a few data points.

This graph shows the hit from the Great Recession and the painfully slow recovery which followed.

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

Six different ways to measure unemployment

There are actually six different ways to calculated labor underutilization, all provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economic devastation caused by the shutdown of the US economy means we need to start looking at these different indicators.

The above graph shows what is referred to as the U-3 and U-6 rates.

“What in the world are you talking about,” I hear you ask.

(more…)

Unemployment rate rises to 14.7% in April.

Shutting down the economy has predictable, expected consequences. One that became visible on Friday was 20 million jobs vaporizing in the last month which resulted in an expected soaring unemployment rate.

A ban on everything other than immediate emergency medical care has cratered revenue of hospitals bringing layoffs to the entire industry.

Finally, making unemployment benefits higher than the earning capacity of a large portion of people has the fully expected consequence of making people hesitant to return to work.

This discussion will be posted across several of my blogs.

5/8/20 – Wall Street Journal – April Unemployment Rate Rose to a Record 14.7% – Thirty-three million people filing a first-time claim for unemployment drove the unemployment rate to 14.7%. Oh, lots of those new claims were filed after the cutoff for the April calculations.

A staggering 20.5 million jobs disappeared. Article points out the number of jobs destroyed are equal to all the job gains over the last decade.

Picture it this way – that is the equivalent of everybody who found a job over the last decade getting laid off.

(more…)

More big businesses failing. Revised budget forecast for state of California shows even governments are going to have a hard time when the economy is frozen. Maybe it is time to restart the economy.

Even the state government in California may be starting to realize that putting the economy in a deep freezer for an extended and unknown period of time might have some adverse consequences.

Just a few of the business casualties over the last few days:

  • Neiman Marcus (bankruptcy filed)
  • Souplanation/Sweet Tomatoes restaurants (all 97 stores permanently closing)
  • Lord & Taylor (likely BK)
  • J. Crew (bankruptcy filed)
  • J. C. Penney (likely BK)

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

California budget deficit

5/7/20 – ABC news – California doom: Staggering $54 billion budget deficit looms 

(more…)

3.2 million new claims for unemployment last week. Running out of negative words to describe the severity of job losses.

Unemployment by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

New unemployment claims for week ending 5/2/20 are 3,169,000, seasonally adjusted.

The tally of new claims is 33.48 million since the economy was put in an induced coma.

That means about 1 out of every 5 people in the civilian labor force back in February are out of a job today.

I’m running out of words to describe how horribly the economy has been hit. Seem to have exhausted the adjectives that apply. We have a terrible mess and it is going to take a long time to fully recover from the lost jobs and even longer to recover consumer and business confidence.

This discussion will be posted across several of my blogs.

Data:

Expectations from economists interviewed by the WSJ, or perhaps we should say their wild guesses, are the flood of new claims will taper off in May. Will likely be months before the new jobs exceed the new unemployment claims. Will likely be years before new jobs offset the tidal waves of job losses in March, April, and May.

Summary of new claims and running total

I have prepared a running tally of the new unemployment claims, which is shown below.

(more…)

Economic devastation from shutdown spreads. Signs showing of deteriorating health and increased deaths caused by shutdown.

Indications of damage caused by the shutdown are getting stronger. First articles are appearing to describe the harm to health from the shutdown.

Comments today:

  • Estimated 35 deaths from not getting cardiac care in Ontario, Canada
  • Indications people are not seeing doctors and not getting meds they need
  • Harsh impact on Jewish owned businesses
  • New vehicle sales collapsing
  • Temp layoffs transition to permanent
  • More students suing more universities, now claiming discount on tuition for missing out on the on-campus experience

Damage to health from shutdown

5/5/20 – Daily Wire – Dozens Dead After Lockdown Measures Delayed Their Heart Surgeries; Health Official: “Certainly Was Not Intended” – Count this as the first in what I predict will be an exquisitely long list of unintended consequences from putting the economy into an induced coma. The sad part is these unintended consequences were predictable and expected.

Thousands upon thousands of needed health procedures were canceled in Ontario, Canada in order to make room for the massive surge of coronavirus patients which never arrived.

New study in Ontario estimates that 35 people are dead because their heart surgeries were postponed. There were 12,200 surgeries and other procedures postponed each week.

(more…)

California starts first few steps to start opening up the stalled economy.

Economic doors will start to open on Friday – Opening or closing? by Paolo Gamba is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Friday of this week, 5/8, California will take the first baby steps to revive the state’s economy. Some retail stores will be able to provide curb-side delivery of products.

I don’t quite know how many people will order clothes online in order to pick them up at a store’s curb, but that is a first step.

At least half the value of a bookstore is browsing the shelves to see what book you really have to read right but that you previously didn’t even know existed.

Well, it’s a baby step.

Several articles describe the beginning here in the state. First article describes that government officials better start opening up quick or they will find the everyone already has done so.

5/1/20 – Forbes – Apple Data Shows Shelter-In-Place Is Ending, Whether Governments Want It To Or Not – Apple and Foursquare are tracking data that show people are getting out more.

(more…)

Thunderbirds and Blue Angels joint appearance.

UNITED STATES (April 28, 2020) The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, honor frontline COVID-19 first responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia, April 28, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Hicks/Released)

The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration teams ha a series of joint flyovers of multiple metropolitan areas as a tribute to all the health care providers and first responders.

Here are some photos of their appearance over New York. Since the only photos on either the Navy or USAF websites are from the Navy, I’ll guess that pursuit plane was Navy.

More pix:

(more…)

Economic stats show rapid disintegration of economy. Collapse in physical and emotional health won’t be this easy to calculate.

The economic statistics are rolling out to show the initial impact of the shutdown of the economy.

The collateral effect the shutdown and isolation will have on deteriorating emotional and mental health along with increased mortality due to postponed or canceled medical treatment will take years to quantify.

New stats in last few days:

  • 3.8 million new unemployment claims this week
  • New unemployment claims in six weeks are now equal to 18% of the people who were working in February
  • CBO expects unemployment rate to average 11% for 2020
  • 4.8% annualized drop in GDP for first quarter

New claims for unemployment

4/30/20 – Department of Labor – Unemployment insurance weekly claims – Another 3,839,000 people filed an initial claim for unemployment in the week ending April 25.

(more…)

The shutdown will be relaxed, one way or another.

Time to use the other side of those signs. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

If the politicians don’t start relaxing the lockdown and letting people pay their rapidly accumulating bills, bunches of people are going to take the initiative and do so on their own.

I sense there is a limited time for those in power to start loosening the extreme restrictions or people are going to start ignoring parts of the rules.

At a deeper level, the concern I have is what’s referred to as the “social contract.” Government gets its authority from consent of the governed.

If a large number of people get to the point of concluding the rules in places like California and Virginia are unnecessarily severe and are causing more health, mental, social, and economic damage than they prevent, people will conclude our leaders have broken the contract.

If we get to that point, respect for law and respect for public officials will decline. That is not a good place to go.

 

Next two articles point out a small number of people who have already reached that conclusion:

4/20/20 – Daily Wire – “Social Shredding”: Defiant Residents Grab Shovels, Dirt Bikes After Cali Authorities Dump Tons of Sand In Skateparks For ‘Social Distancing’ – Officials in San Clemente California noticed teenagers were committing the grave sin of skating in the city’s skate park. Well, that is patently unacceptable, so the city dumped 37 tons of sand into the skate park in an effort to shut down the skating. Since the park is at the beach, sand was readily available.

Well, the city officials did not take into consideration the incredible level of creativity present in humans, especially Americans.

(more…)

The horrid news just keeps on rolling.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The news feels like we are moving ever deeper into an over-the-top dystopian novel. Unfortunately this isn’t fiction.

Another 4 million unemployment claims last week and ongoing attacks on the First Amendment.

About the only job specialty in the country today with bright growth prospects in the near term is trial attorney.

(This post will cross-published on several of my blogs.)

New unemployment claims

4/23/20 – Department of Labor – Unemployment insurance weekly claims – an additional 4,427,000 people filed their initial claim for unemployment in the week ending April 18. Here is another article in case link is dynamic.

This is on top of the four previous weeks of horrible levels of new claims.

Here is a summary of the unreal news. Recap shows number of new claims for unemployment for the last five weeks with a subtotal. The number of people who were unemployed in March is then listed with my estimate of the total unemployment now.

(more…)

More sectors of the economy being destroyed by shutdown of the economy.

Imagine all that frantic hustle and bustle of Denver airport back in 2018 dropping by 95%. Photo by James Ulvog.

I can barely type fast enough to keep up with the adverse impact on the economy or freedom. Can barely keep up with the news about entire sectors of the economy collapsing. Most recent sectors I’ve learned about:  airlines and the entire health care system. Since drafting this post last evening, learned about the destruction in the clean energy industry and saw some stats on the devastation in the restaurant sector.

This post will be printed on several of my blogs.

Airlines

4/20/20 – NewsMax – Big 3 US Airlines May Cut More Than 100,000 Jobs by Fall – At the moment passenger loads are frightening – article says domestic flights are averaging 10 passengers and international flights are averaging 24 people plus crew.

(more…)

A reminder of previous government pronouncements before they are pushed down the memory hole.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

We can now see an extensive effort to re-write the story of the shutdown of the economy. Before that is accomplished it is necessary to put a number of factors on the table so they don’t disappear down George Orwell’s 1984 memory hole.

4/13/20 – American Institute for Economic Research – Liberation From Lockdown Now – Article discusses recent explanations and how we got to this point.

We need to remember this uncomfortable information before it is removed from the discussion.

I shall quote one paragraph from the article to keep the information alive before it is erased from the record. The early advice from the experts was:

“For a family sitting around the dinner table tonight,” said Dr. Nancy Messionnier, a spokesperson for the CDC on January 17; “this is not something that they generally need to worry about.”

Let’s not forget the next sentence:

(more…)

Some states start to open up at the same time California may be locked up for months.

image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Some states are already loosening some of the shutdown restrictions.

The ‘indicators’ announced by California, Oregon, and Washington indicate it may be months before any parts of the economy are allowed to revive.

Washington state and Texas show the stark contrast in approached.

(This discussion will be posted at several of my blogs.)

4/19/20 – USA Today – US reopening: What states are relaxing social distancing restrictions and moving away from lockdowns? – Several states have already dialed back parts of the lockdown. Others have announced dates to do so. A summary of the small steps:

  • Now – Florida, Minnesota, Vermont
  • April 24 – Texas Montana
  • May 1 – Ohio, Idaho, North Dakota

Californians will stay in lockdown for a very long time

4/14/20 – Office of the governor – Governor Newsom Outlines Six Critical Indicators the State will Consider Before Modifying the Stay-at-Home Order and Other COVID-19 Interventions

(more…)

Additional indications of economic destruction from the shutdown.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Here are a few articles in the last few days describing the economic catastrophe that is expanding daily as we watch. Estimate is out that one out of four employees in Los Angeles are out of work. Higher education as an industry is in danger.

4/14/20 – American Enterprise Institute – The International Monetary Fund’s coronavirus reality check – The IMF expects a worse downturn than the ‘08/’09 Great Recession.  Global output is expected to have a US$9 trillion loss in output from what would have been expected.

For the US and Europe the loss will be equal to two years worth of economic growth.

4/17/20 – LAist – LA’s Latest Unemployment Numbers Are Staggering. An Estimated 1.3M Jobs Have Already Been Lost – Percent of LA county residents who are employed is estimated at 45%. That is down from 61% in March. The difference is 16%. Divide that by the 61% employed prior month indicates 26% of the people working a month ago are now unemployed. Data is from researchers at USC.

(more…)

More attacks on constitutional freedoms.

This dream of so many elected politicians is flagrantly illegal. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Because a large and growing number of elected officials do not have a functional awareness of the Bill of Rights, I will recite the first and second amendments to help them out. Will then cite merely a few of the recent violations thereof.

Article I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

 

..the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

4/17/20 – NJ.com – Woman charged for organizing protest of Murphy’s coronavirus stay-at-home order(more…)