Where are the millions of missing workers? This could be where
Probably the biggest mystery today regarding the economy is "what happened to all the workers?"
The first theory was that they were all living large on UI benefits, so all that was necessary was to cut off those benefits and "problem solved".
The reluctance of so many people to reenter the labor force is a bit of a mystery, especially after some 9 million people lost unemployment benefits in September. Economists had expected to see a pickup in labor-force participation by now.
“The most disappointing thing about [the jobs report] is that it does not really show much in terms of a return to the labor force following the expiration of the enhanced unemployment benefits in September,” said senior money market economist Thomas Simons of Jefferies LLC.
Now many are questioning the assumption that the expiry of some unemployment benefits would prompt workers to return.
Except cutting UI didn't drive the workers back. Now those same people who wanted UI cut are saying something about "savings from UI", but that makes zero sense since most of the people we are talking about couldn't save any money when they had a job.
Another explanation: Massive government spending, including stimulus checks and generous unemployment benefits, have allowed more people to bide their time before returning to work. They can hold out for better job offers, the thinking goes.
Still, many economists are convinced the size of the labor force will swell in the coming months if the pandemic burns itself out and wages continue to rise. Many people, they say, will need the income
“The money won’t last forever and the U.S. is a difficult place to be voluntarily unemployed,” said chief economist Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics.
There are other theories about people seeking non-monetary rewards, and while that's a nice idea, we know that is hogwash.
How can hundreds of thousands of Americans simply vanish from society, and no one notice?
Well, I've come up with a theory. It's based on a known fact in American society today.
You see, hundreds of thousands of Americans vanish from society every year. Year after year.
We all know it, but we don't like to talk about it. We don't even like to think about it.
I'm talking about the homeless.
Remember when there were stories about an eviction tsunami?
For the one in every seven tenants in the U.S. currently behind on rent, however, the end of COVID could mean eviction. Marginalized tenants are especially at risk — one in five Black tenants, Latino tenants and tenants with children currently owe back rent.
“We have projections of 500,000 people living on the streets of L.A. if nothing is done to curb these evictions,” Trinidad Ruiz of the L.A. Tenants Union says — a catastrophic increase from the estimated 40,000 people currently without housing in the Los Angeles area. Without assistance, over 10 million people nationwide could find themselves without housing when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium ends on June 30.
First off I want to draw your attention to the math.
The top article says that 9 million workers are missing.
Now we find out that 10 million people nationwide were at risk of becoming homeless.
Those two numbers are suspiciously close.
That's not to say there is a one-to-one relationship between evicted/homeless/missing workers. What I'm saying that there is reason to believe that there is significant overlap.
Secondly, consider where the homeless generally come from.
the vast majority of people receiving homeless services in L.A. have held down jobs, some right up until the time they became homeless....
They found that nearly half (47%) of working age adults enrolling in homeless services in L.A. had worked in the four years prior to becoming homeless. And about one in five were working in the same quarter they showed up in LAHSA's system.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) had some record of employment between 1995 and 2018.
Now consider just how difficult it is to hold down a decent job while homeless. Not to mention how hard it is to get a new job while homeless.
You may point out that the eviction tsunami never happened.
Well, actually it did. The Eviction Tsunami is both ongoing, and dramatically under-reported, because "Fuck The Poor, Amirite?"
It is not the sudden surge of evictions that tenants and advocates feared after the Supreme Court ruled in August that President Biden’s extension of the eviction moratorium was unconstitutional. Instead, what’s emerging is a more gradual eviction crisis that is increasingly hitting communities across the country, especially those where the distribution of federal rental assistance has been slow, and where tenants have few protections.
In Indianapolis in late October, Pamela Brewer waited nervously for a hearing on her pending eviction in a courthouse packed with hundreds of other tenants. There, landlords have been piling new evictions onto a backlog of thousands of older ones from the pandemic that are just now being executed.
“The hallways were full, the outside was full coming up the steps, the foyer was full,” said Ms. Brewer, who is months behind on rent after losing her job on the assembly line at a home appliances manufacturer at the start of the pandemic. “You look around and everybody’s knees are shaking like, What’s going to happen?”
Those poor people should be afraid, because eviction courts aren’t about due process and getting a fair hearing. Eviction courts were created to help landlords make sure that those evictions are handled very quickly.
Much like the number of homeless, no one really wants to know the truth behind the tidal wave of evictions. Perhaps even more important, the people with money and power, the ones who own the media, don't care. At all.
That's why we aren't even close to knowing the scale of the problem.
The true extent of the crisis facing tenants is understated by the available numbers on eviction, housing advocates and experts say. “The eviction avalanche is absolutely here across the country,” said Katie Goldstein, a housing justice campaign director with the Center for Popular Democracy.
There is no national database of evictions, and the haphazard patchwork of local policies and record-keeping methods in courts across the country poses severe obstacles to creating one. One-third of all U.S. counties have no available court eviction data at all, according to New America, a left-leaning think tank.
And most tenants are forced to leave their rental units not because of formal eviction proceedings, but because they’ve been illegally locked out or their utilities have been shut off, or because they want to avoid an eviction being added to their record by leaving on their own.
A 2015 study from Milwaukee found that there were two of these so-called informal evictions for every one formal eviction. A recent survey of low-income tenants in Washington State found that one in five tenants were subjected to a method of informal eviction during the pandemic, compared with one in eight before the pandemic.
Finally we arrive at the terrible conclusion.
1. Those people who said that they were in danger of being evicted were telling the truth.
2. It happened, and now they've been unable to maintain a steady job while losing their homes.
3. Homeless people are invisible.
The simply fact is that we have absolutely no idea how many homeless people are in America today. When I say this I mean that we don't have a clue.
The 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part I (AHAR), published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), estimates that 53,692 parents and children experienced homelessness during the agency’s January 2019 count.
Congress and local communities use HUD’s homelessness figures to help inform determinations about priorities for funding, services, and action. Yet educators, service providers, and child advocates say other data sources provide a more realistic picture of homelessness.
The HUD figures, derived from a “point-in-time” count, are significantly lower than those released by the Department of Education. Public schools identified more than 1.5 million homeless students in the 2017-2018 school year according to preliminary data from the Department of Education, a 10 percent increase since the previous school year.
In addition, the landmark 2017 study Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America, from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago found that 4.2 million young people experienced unaccompanied homelessness over a 12-month period.
The HUD survey would be a joke if it had any humor value at all. Yet HUD is the most quoted official source.
We don't want to know how bad things are getting with the working class, so we don't make a honest effort to know the truth. Thus we come to laughable scenarios that have no reflection on reality.
Instead our culture obsesses over things that seem bizarre in a time where so many millions of lives are being destroyed: CRT, COVID vaccines, signaling virtue, celebrities, etc.
This certainly looks a lot like End of Empire.