2020 Is An Economic Nightmare – And Things Just Got Even Worse

August 23, 2020 in News by RBN Staff

source: theeconomiccollapseblog.com

More than a million Americans were not supposed to be losing their jobs every week by the time we got to the middle of August.  By now, vast hordes of unemployed Americans were supposed to be returning to their old jobs and economic activity was supposed to be returning to normal levels.  But it hasn’t happened that way.  Instead, the U.S. economy continues to unravel at a steady pace.  Every week more businesses go under, more layoffs are announced and more people get behind on their bills.  What we have already been through has been far worse than anything that we experienced during the last recession, and it appears that this new economic downturn is entering yet another new phase.  On Thursday, we learned that another 1.106 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits last week was greater than expected, raising concern about the state of the economy as lawmakers struggle to move forward on a new pandemic stimulus package.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 15 came in at 1.106 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 923,000. Initial claims for the previous week were also revised higher by 8,000 to 971,000.

Instead of going down as most analysts were anticipating, the number of initial claims shot way back above a million.

And this means that we have now gotten a number that is above a million for 21 of the last 22 weeks.

Prior to 2020, the worst weekly number in all of U.S. history was 695,000.  To absolutely dwarf that old record for 22 weeks in a row should be almost theoretically impossible.  If you would have asked me last year what it would take to have the kind of unemployment numbers that we are seeing now, I would have probably suggested that it would take something like a world war or a major asteroid strike to produce such figures.  The numbers that we keep getting week after week are simply absurd, but they just keep coming.

After all this time, the number of Americans filing for unemployment should be falling back below record levels, but instead last week we got a number that was more than twice as high as anything that we witnessed during the last recession…

“However, the number of individuals claiming benefits remains extraordinarily high – more than twice the peak of the great recession – underscoring that the labor market is a long way from being healthy,” economist Nancy Vanden Houten wrote in a note to clients.

It would be difficult to overstate the scale of the economic devastation that we are witnessing.

Do you remember Hurricane Katrina?  It was the worst natural disaster in the history of Louisiana, but in 2020 the state has lost twice as many jobs as it did after Hurricane Katrina.

Just think about how crazy that is.

Overall, 57.3 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 22 weeks.

57 million.

We’ve never seen anything like this in our history.  For a while, our unemployed workers were being kept afloat by a 600 dollar a week federal supplement, but now those extra benefits have expired