Great Depression levels of unemployment in just months

Last week the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, to not much fanfare, predicted that 47 million workers will lose their jobs just in second quarter 2020.
Or to put it another way.

unemployment in the United States was about to skyrocket to a point higher than that reached at the peak of the Great Depression: 32 percent.

That is an astonishing — even incomprehensible — figure. Just four weeks ago, before the coronavirus pandemic plunged us into a recession, unemployment was at 3.5 percent. During the depths of the Great Recession, the highest unemployment reached was 10 percent. Nearly a century ago, in the Great Depression, the worst figure was 24.9 percent — lower if you count people in work relief jobs as employed.

The so-called back-of-the-envelope calculation by the St. Louis Fed is simply staggering. If anywhere close to accurate, it suggests Americans have barely come to grips with the coming economic calamity.

This projection is on the high end and comes with several caveats, but if it's even in the same ballpark then we are looking at an epic, empire-ending, violence-causing catastrophe.
Two weeks ago Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned of 20% unemployment.
Other predictions are lower, but still higher than the 2009 peak.

Goldman Sachs on Tuesday revised its coronavirus projections, seeing a sharper downturn than originally thought: The bank now sees unemployment peaking at 15% later this year—up from its earlier forecast of 9%...
The University of North Carolina Kenan Institute predicts the unemployment rate will spike up to 11.5% amid small business layoffs, while Capital Economics chief U.S. economist Paul Ainsworth forecasts that it will peak at 12%.
Share
up
29 users have voted.

Comments

Granma's picture

If you happen across any good news, please do bring that, for instance the locusts in Africa all died or something.

up
17 users have voted.

The virus or the quarantine?

A great depression will cause much death and suffering.

up
19 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

up
6 users have voted.

“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

Pricknick's picture

The only thing better to the money changers than mass die offs, are more people working harder for less.
As a bonus, when the economy picks up again, there will be many more millions working harder for less.
That's if the economy ever recovers.

up
24 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

thanatokephaloides's picture

I think that the predicted unemployment levels are simply the basic reality we've been living in for decades -- except now the unemployed and substandardly employed can't just be swept under the proverbial rug any more.

Diablo

up
28 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

snoopydawg's picture

For some reason they have been put in charge of doling out the loans and will get paid to do so. I know..! This is just so damn surprising isn't it? Plus Joe posted an article on how richer companies get more of the pie than regular Joe's.

So what is going to happen in a few weeks when families living on the edge run out of money and food? The unemployment offices are slammed with the number of people who filing this week and what happens if enough of the people working on claims get sick and spread it to others and now no claims can get completed?

Another thing. People like me who have no income to declare can go online to fill out a tax form to get our $$$. However the forms don't allow people to enter 0 on the line that asks for income so they would have to print it out to fill in by hand. But what if they don't have a printer because they can't afford them or the ink and they use the library? They are SOL cuz it's closed. The social security administration could just increase the amount paid into people's bank accounts except Trump won't let them do it. Why? Reasons. Cruel ones of course.

BTW supplies from China and elsewhere have shut down too so what happens if stores run out of food? Gee you'd think congress would have asked that question before they signed NAFTA and other trade agreements that saw companies move their factories offshore. Unless...? Nah.

Just been thinking about these things for a few days. I think we are in for a very rough ride here and Nancy is thinking that she should make it so some rich people can have higher tax deductions. You go girl!

up
27 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

@snoopydawg that form, send me a pm, I will give you my office email address, will print it out, mail it to you.

up
23 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

This is very nice of you to offer. I'll probably take you up on it.

But my mind just got blown. This is unfuckingbelievable isn't it? This is beyond sadistic after corporations are going to be getting trillions!

Trump wants to pay for battling coronavirus by cutting heating assistance to the poor

“House Democrats tell us they are outraged by one aspect of the White House response in particular: The White House appears to have informed Democrats that they want to fund the emergency response in part by taking money from a program that funds low-income home heating assistance.

“A document that the Trump administration sent to Congress, which we have seen, indicates that the administration is transferring $37 million to emergency funding for the coronavirus response from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, which funds heating for poor families.”

While $37 million may seem like a drop in the bucket in an age of trillion-dollar annual budgets, Mark Wolfe, the executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, says such a drastic cut could be catastrophic:

“Winter is far from over, and we need every dollar to help poor families. $37 million for example is enough to help close to 750,000 families. There is absolutely no good reason why programs designed to help poor families should be sacrificed to address the virus.”

$37 million is an amount that people like Bezos and Gates and other rich fucks wouldn't even notice was gone from their billions, but could prove deadly for many people who rely on help to make it through the winter. That this even crossed someone's mind just shows what sick f'cks live among us. This fund has been gutted through many administrations when it should have been expanded because of how many people keep falling through the cracks in this f'cking country. Glad to know that democrats have some limits on what they find acceptable.

I got to this article from one that talks about how we need to save the fracking industry. The wart on humanity that wrote this is from the oil industry and here's something that should get him stripped from the club of humans.

Well, guess what? As I have pointed out in the past, that’s an oil subsidy. The reality is that the vast majority of oil subsidies in the world are consumer subsidies like this. The people who get angry about oil subsidies are sometimes the same people that complain about cutting these kinds of subsidies — because they don’t recognize them as oil subsidies.

WTF?

Subsidies aren’t direct payments to oil companies, even though that’s what most people envision. So, they get angry about something they misunderstand.

I feel a very big rant coming on so I'll stop here. But LIHEAP shouldn't be just for people who live where winter is cold. People in Arizona and Florida etc should get help with their air conditioning bills during the summer, but of course there isn't enough money to do that. I need a bath.

up
22 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

@snoopydawg and that newborn grandbaby.
But save fracking!
Obama preferred the poisoning of the water supply in Flynt in favor of Nestle.
So, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Send the form to me. I am anticipating that my regular business is going to be cut by 30% or more.
I have plenty of time to go to the post office.

up
17 users have voted.

@snoopydawg heating assistance is just throwing the dog a bone. The states in the northeast send in tax revenue and get less back from the feds. The $, and federal jobs flow to the red states. Same with all the pollution from those mile high stacks in the Midwest they send us.

In the end we just fight over crumbs that might make our lives easier. I hope this corona plague resets how we see ourselves, and others. That politicians, the wealthy and Fox news won't save us, or care if we live or die. That we've neglected everything we depend on by running the country like a business. I hope that disgust at the Trumpers and their willful ignorance, hoarding and taunting takes hold.

We deserve better, if not for us, for those kids that come after.

up
13 users have voted.

@snoopydawg
Not to poor people. I know. I applied to LIHEAP in November 2004 when I was unemployed.
My daughter told me, "Don't feel funny about it. The state doesn't allow them to shut off your gas or electricity in Winter. This is their way of making sure that the utility companies are paid."

Off the main topic:
I was approved in April 2005. But I had already landed a job with the Post Office in March 2005. Yeah.

up
7 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

Granma's picture

@on the cusp after all. Many protests got it changed late today. Funds will arrive the same way SSA money does for a person, bank deposit or check.

up
19 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Granma

Thanks. Do you perhaps have a link for this?

up
7 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

@snoopydawg

IRS
@IRSnews
Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file to receive an economic impact payment. It’s automatic. More information from #IRS at http://irs.gov/coronavirus #COVIDreliefIRS

up
11 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Anya

Thanks for sharing this! I have tweeted it and asked people to share it. Yay for some good news about the help coming to us. Hopefully this won't be a one time deal.

Thanks, Anja.

up
11 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

Democrats made a stink big enough to get Mnuchin to back down on social security recipients, but they say that others still need to do the tax return to get it.

Voice if you enter $1 instead of zero it's considered fraud. Not sure if it's true, but this is what I am seeing others saying. Imagine taking the risk and....

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/02/not-enough-trump-reversal-c...

Imagine if Kamala Harris had charged Mnuchin the shit for fraud like her office had a case lined up to do. Would he be in position to screw up as badly as he is? I don't think so.

Listen to this airline attendant woman talk about how bad this is for airline workers. At the end she breaks down from the misery the corporate only bailout is causing workers. It's at the end of the video.

Heartbreaking.

up
7 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Granma

SSA people do not have to file tax return after all. Many protests got it changed late today. Funds will arrive the same way SSA money does for a person, bank deposit or check.

Biggrin

Thank you, Granma!

up
1 user has voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@snoopydawg
No tax liability and it's non-zero.
No idea if it works, but worth a try.

up
2 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

CB's picture

150,000 hotel rooms going empty in Las Vegas. Poor and homeless sleep on parking lot pavement marked out to prevent contagion.

What the fuck has this country become?

up
13 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@CB

Good thing we paved paradise and put up more parking lots huh? Gawd forbid that the hotel industry that just got a billions dollar bailout use their empty rooms for homeless people. Hey didn't Trump talk about third world shit hole countries? Guess what Trump? You're president of a shit hole country that has been one for awhile, but it took your presidency to expose it to the world.

Someone should put this music to the video.

I'm going to have another glass of wine.

up
17 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

@CB third world.
I started my day with an hour long chat with a former client, who is also a neighbor. He is black, a Trump supporter, has lost black friends because of it, now attends a predominately white church near my office.
He fought in 'Nam. Is a huge supporter of all things America.
He likes that part where America jumps in to help anybody under siege.
Well, we spoke about our soldiers coming to the streets for protester. Will they shoot us, or join us?
He was really hesitant to say one way or another. He said he would join, not shoot, and was almost crying when he said that.
I told him I hoped I got shot right between the eyes, so as not to suffer.
He said he wanted to visit, bring cigars, talk about the world.
I told him I would supply the beer, get a designated driver to get him home! lol!
To some, nothing and nowhere is greater than America.
But when it gets all push come to shove, they side with Americans.

up
21 users have voted.

@on the cusp
Compare the Winter Palace to Kent State.
When the Army refuses to fire on striking workers r protesting, the state has lost it's true power and is doomed. It will fall.

up
8 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness

up
6 users have voted.
edg's picture

@CB

I assume all the hotel workers were furloughed. Who would you envision putting at the desk, on the cleaning staff, in the restaurants and laundry rooms, etc? Would you force workers to come back? Who would pay them? Who would train workers in contagion control and supply them with PPE?

up
7 users have voted.

@edg Not saying there would not be logistical problems, but how is crowding the homeless in a parking lot a reasonable plan? Even they have to come in contact with the workers who hand them their pallets. Someone somewhere has to clean the make shift bathrooms.
You cannot completely isolate the homeless, no matter where they sleep.
But you can treat them like stray dogs.

up
14 users have voted.

@on the cusp
Maintaining the six foot separation so that they are not crowding together.
Even Las Vegas can get cold (well not Chicago cold) at night.

up
3 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness on the asphalt, for their own good.
Homeless people will, in the next year, stop being viewed as losers/druggies/crazies, and begin to look like the people we know as neighbors, people we with whom we once attended football games and church services.

up
9 users have voted.
edg's picture

@on the cusp

Where did I say parking lots were preferable? How did you take the huge leap from my comment to your response?

up
2 users have voted.

@edg People out there in the world feel that way about the homeless.

up
4 users have voted.
CB's picture

@edg
I guarantee you that not all the hotels in Las Vegas are 4 and 5 star hotels. I'm sure there are hundreds of rooms in 1 star motels/hotels in the city.

If there was a will they could find a way. Even set up tent accommodation like FEMA does for temp hospitals/triage. How many fucking billions of dollars have passed through that city on a normal working day not two months ago?

Coronavirus: $150M Emergency Fund To Lease Trailers, Motel Rooms For Homeless

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The first $150 million of emergency coronavirus funding passed earlier this week by California lawmakers will be used to house homeless people, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.
...
Two hotel properties with nearly 400 rooms have already been leased in Northern California, while ten trailers were sent to South Los Angeles in February.

“California is deploying massive resources to get these vulnerable residents safely into shelter, removing regulatory barriers and securing trailers and hotels to provide immediate housing options for those most at risk,” said Newsom. “Helping these residents is critical to protecting public health, flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19.”
...

In two weeks there will be 8 or 10 epicenters in the country. Planes are still allowed to travel from city to city, state to state.

up
13 users have voted.
edg's picture

@CB

How did you transmogrify from my comment asking about the logistics of hotel rooms to "would you deny them a bed at the hospital?" Geez, what a kneejerk reaction to a simple question!! Are you trying to deflect for some reason by creating a straw man that has nothing to do with my comment?

up
2 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@edg

to help run it? I'm sure that they could train people how to keep the rooms clean. I don't think it's rocket science to do it.

up
13 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

@snoopydawg
Might as well burn it down later.

up
1 user has voted.

We are so screwed.

snoopydawg's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Maybe it's just the ones who are on drugs? Or have mental health issues?

Guess what? California just did that. They are using hotels to put people in who have tested positive, but don't need to be in the hospital. Even homeless people get to stay in them.

Sheesh.

up
10 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

edg's picture

@snoopydawg

If managed properly, why not? Homeless people came from all walks of life and their skills could be put to use.

up
3 users have voted.

@edg Where have I heard that line before? A multi trillion dollar bailout was just signed.

up
13 users have voted.
edg's picture

@pro left

Where have you heard that line before? And why is it a red flag to you? Do you expect people to work for free? Or should they just wait patiently until you're in charge and can redirect bailout funds to where you want them spent?

up
1 user has voted.

@edg
take a tiny sliver of the multi-trillion dollar bailout and use it to pay homeless people to keep the hotels clean.

up
1 user has voted.
WaterLily's picture

@CB

up
2 users have voted.

running with a skeleton crew. Either way, gosh, take some of that trillion dollar bailout money and pay the hotel 50 cents on the dollar. They would likely be happy to receive it. Solve three problems with the same dollar:
Homeless are housed.
Hotels have cash flow.
Hotel workers have work again.

up
18 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@wouldsman
They’ll never do it.

up
11 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Just head over to your local friendly Blackwater/Academi office and sign up. Because there's always money for the military, especially the privatized part. Then you can be gainfully employed at killing brown people or crushing dissent in the U.S. - which will almost certainly also involve killing brown people.

up
12 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@tle Fuck it.

All Lives Matter.

I would never have said that in 2016 or prior. "Black Lives Matter" made perfect sense in the context the time - but the conservatives have been vindicated this time; it's just degenerated into competitive victimhood.

You know what it means that non-wealthy African-American lives are held in open disdain by the system? It simply puts them in the same bracket as the overwhelming majority of all life on this planet.

Those military droogies of tomorrow you mention (many, many of whom will be dark-skinned, just as the military's makeup has been for decades) are not going to judge us by the color of our skin; but by the content of our character: If they catch anyone demonstrating such character traits as courage, independence, critical thinking, or self-respect, that is who they will crush.

up
1 user has voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Some signs of it now. I figure by years end. Will there even be a presidential election? Pence will bring the rapture.

up
5 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

A record 6,648,000 (or 6.648 million) people filed for unemployment last week. And those are the peole who were able to get through to file. When added to the previous week's figures, nearly 10 million people have filed for unemployment in the last two weeks.

I personally believe that this country was already in a deep recession, but these figures mean we are entering the worst depression this country has ever experienced. Many of these jobs will never return because they were in service industries, many of which will not recover, especially small businesses and local restaurants. This social distancing is not going to go away any time soon either so the measly $1.200 thrown at workers and families who were already suffering economically is like a drop in the bucket. It is an insult to the working class when big corporations are being bailed out to the tune of $trillions with no real strings attached.

up
12 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy