Week 6 of the Collapse of the U.S. Labor Market

Florida ascends to Number One as it tries to catch up. “Insured unemployment rates” already over 20% in some states as of Apr 11.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Over the six reporting weeks since mid-March, state unemployment departments have processed a gut-wrenching 30.3 million initial claims for unemployment insurance. In the week ended April 25, according to the US Department of Labor this morning, 3.84 million unemployment claims, seasonally adjusted, were processed. That was over five times the peaks during the prior unemployment crises in 1982 and 2009:

The unemployment claims reported here are those that the people were able to file and that state offices were able to process. There continue to be reports of chaos, websites that go down intermittently, jammed phone lines and infernal wait-times while on hold, etc., as still overwhelmed unemployment offices are struggling to catch up with the unprecedented tsunami of claims while trying to staff up and shift people around and train people in those tasks.

The layoff announcements by larger companies continue on a daily basis. Smaller companies are laying off people without media coverage. In addition, the provisions in the stimulus package that expand unemployment insurance to contract workers and the self-employed are still being implemented by state unemployment offices, and those claims are just now starting to show up in the data.

The number of “Insured unemployed” spikes to horrific record.

A worker who has filed an “initial claim” for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and still doesn’t have a job a week later is then added to “insured unemployment.” The number of the “insured unemployed” – or “continued claims” – skyrocketed to 18.0 million, by far the highest in the data going back to the 1960s. The record before this crisis was 6.63 million during the Great Recession in May of 2009.

The Labor Department also reported today that for the week ended April 18, the “insured unemployment rate” soared to 12.4%, having weeks ago blown past the record of the pre-Covid-19 era of 7.0%, set in May 1975.

It’s a lot worse than 12.4% in some states. The Labor Department today also provided the insured unemployment rates at the state level for the week ending April 11. Here are the top 10 states in terms of insured unemployment rates for that week:

  1. Michigan: 21.8%
  2. Vermont: 21.2%
  3. Connecticut: 18.5%
  4. Pennsylvania: 18.5%
  5. Nevada: 16.8%
  6. Rhode Island: 16.7%
  7. Washington: 16.0%
  8. Alaska: 15.6%
  9. New York: 14.4%
  10. West Virginia: 14.4%

This “insured unemployment rate” is based on actual UI claims that were processed, and on only those claims.

It is very different from the household-survey-based unemployment rates that are released on a monthly basis in the jobs report. Those monthly unemployment rates attempt to show the percentage of people in the labor force who are actively pursuing employment, including gig work, but cannot find it. Many of these people that don’t have work but are looking for work are not covered by UI and are therefore not included in the UI data. I expect the unemployment rate in the monthly jobs report, when it catches up, to be far higher than the rate of “insured unemployment.”

The 22 states with the most initial claims, week ended April 25.

For the first week in this crisis, California is no longer the state with the most initial unemployment claims. During the initial burst in March, California had reported over 1 million claims in a single week. This has now dropped by two-thirds to a still stunning 328,042 claims.

But Florida is now in the top rank, as its overwhelmed unemployment office is beginning to sort out the chaos. The table below shows the 22 states that had the most initial claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended April 25:

Top 22 States, Initial Claims in the week ended April 25
1 Florida 432,465
2 California 328,042
3 Georgia 264,818
4 Texas 254,199
5 New York 218,912
6 Washington 145,757
7 Pennsylvania 131,282
8 North Carolina 97,232
9 Kentucky 90,824
10 Ohio 90,760
11 Michigan 81,312
12 Illinois 81,245
13 Virginia 74,043
14 New Jersey 71,017
15 Massachusetts 70,714
16 Louisiana 66,167
17 Alabama 64,170
18 Indiana 57,397
19 Minnesota 53,561
20 Missouri 52,403
21 Arizona 52,098
22 Wisconsin 49,910

This was week six of the collapse of the labor market. Most of the states reported fewer initial unemployment claims this week (ending April 25), than in the prior week, as the huge initial waves of layoffs are now abating and as state unemployment offices are catching up. This means that the number of unemployed still increased at a stunningly fast rate – and before this crisis, at an unthinkably fast rate – but at a slower rate than in prior weeks.

In addition to logistical difficulties of selling a home in the era of social distancing, there is the explosion of a historic unemployment crisis. Read... Mortgage Forbearance Balloons, Home Sales Plunge

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  199 comments for “Week 6 of the Collapse of the U.S. Labor Market

  1. panamabob says:

    These numbers are mind boggling. I think I’m having a nightmare. Making post short, maybe first to post.
    Great work Wolf

    • Rosebud says:

      Hey yo, Davida Graeber, whatcha sayin’ man? Take a bow.

      • Joe Saba says:

        if company gets PPP then they can’t officially lay off workers til september
        gonna be pretty bad year for UI numbers
        all those Obama McJobs now gone and few million more – never to return
        maybe President Trump can find way to streamline bringing back supply chain jobs

    • John Taylor says:

      No worries, S&P still heading to all-time highs (/sarc)

      • Bet says:

        Not much longer

        • Cas127 says:

          Wait until last week in July, first week in August, when bulk of Q2 numbers hit – Q1 basically had just 15 to 20 pct of quarter affected.

        • Mike says:

          One hopes. However, if there are more waves from less cautious states, there may be more peaks. Fauci’s and other experts’ warnings/predictions have been ignored in many states.

      • implicit says:

        You could analog the graph peaks of the insured unemployed in 2009- as being the S&P now, and 2020 unemployment graph as the next high in the vix again soon, if it makes you feel better.
        This is about the same ratio of the last S&P peak to the last vix peak. Good hypothesis if we are going down to the recent lows or further. Time

  2. Stephen says:

    No surprise that FL is No. 1 now. Somehow our brilliant governor did not think that closing down the hospitality industry and other services industries would somehow massively effect the state and its revenues! I heard the good governor speak yesterday here in FL, and he seemed to be totally clueless as to the effect on state revenue, unless he has a massive stash of cash somewhere or his buddy Trump said, ‘don’t worry we have your back.’ Famous last words!

    • Petunia says:

      Florida is a hard state to qualify for unemployment. I don’t know about right now, but as of five or six years ago, you needed 20 continuous months of employment, with no breaks, to qualify for benefits. Any break in the previous 20 months, even one month, would disqualify you from benefits.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        DeSantis, our current R guv, is saddled, so far, with the berry berry bad baggage left from Rick Scott, personally IMHO one of the very worst of the very bad guvs of FL since ”walking Lawton” at least tried to represent WE The PEEONS, and, IMHO did a good job, or at least as good a job of actually helping most folks as could be done in the era when the corporations began to take over and did take over FL, as is clearly continuing.
        The first and only time I have ever been able to get a dime out of the UEI system was long long ago, and was such a pittance that I was tempted, in my youth, to go ahead and throw a cocktail or two, but I did NOT do so, and I want to encourage all young folks NOT to do so, but, instead, to put their very legitimate anger to work to gather all to make some very clear constitutional amendments happen SOON.

      • MaryR says:

        This may explain the recent news reports that 40% of those who managed to get through the chaos and actually put in a claim, were deemed ineligible or benefits by the state of Florida. 40% is an unbelievably high number.

        Florida stated in a news statement that those who are ineligible can appeal and also may be eligible for Federal benefits.

        Some of the turned down workers stated they were given no reason that they are ineligible and upon calling the phone number given for information on these issues were promptly cutoff.

        Meantime, workers who could not get through to file the initial unemployment claims are putting together a class action lawsuit. I hope they win.

    • WT Frogg says:

      Stephen: LMAO. The last time I heard that ” Don’t worry we have your back ” line someone was pushing me out of a perfectly good airplane with a parachute strapped to my back.
      I gather the same line can be used while throwing someone under the bus. LOL. ??

    • Mira says:

      In Australia .. the federal government is throwing BIG money at everything .. like when daddy is spending big on gifts trying to make up for significant neglect of the family .. some of us know that immediately the coronavirus is declared conquered .. the generosity of the government will vanish in the blink of an eye .. & everyone will be left stranded in bankruptcy crisis.
      Mr. Goody2Shoes .. PM Scott Morrison & his collaborators told us 4 more weeks & everything will ease up .. cough, cough, splutter, splutter, splutter, .. BOOM, BOOM.
      Now what ??
      THE NEW NORMAL .. dear god in heaven save us .. according to every enthusiastic dignitary .. we are not off the hook until there is a VACCINE .. wow .. 2 more years of no restaurants .. no MacDonald .. no KFC .. we will be expected to walk through the drive through 1&1/2 meters apart .. its for sure ..
      Isn’t this OVER KILL ??
      All of the above are being sacrificed to the tune of monies that don’t even exist yet ..
      Where is all this money going to come from & how will the food service industry start up again when all in sundry have lost even the shirt off their backs & are broker than broke ??
      You see . the political arena & the media will be paid .. regardless while Australia is homeless & on survival rations.

  3. BuySome says:

    Good news…all rates of new claims go to zero after everybody has been dumped! What I don’t get is how they tell the last guy he’s been cashiered when the cashier is already fired!

  4. Tom Stone says:

    I hope these newly unemployed will use their paid time off productively and learn how to code.
    Gosh, it would guarantee all of them a high paying job which allows social distancing and the economy would more than recover in less than a year!
    Problem solved.

    • Tim says:


      Until souls working for a large tech firm works out AI coding algorithms that are more flexible, cheaper, hell just better, than the average IT graduate can come up with on their desktop/laptop at home.

      I wonder if those coding at home are today’s equivalents of the weavers in their cottages in the 1720’s before the Spinning Jenny and the Industrial Revolution arived.

      • Tim says:


        Weavers in the early 1760’s before the Spinning Jenny was invented in 1764/1765.

      • VeryAmused says:

        First they have to come up with imaginative AI content creators and AI analysts that can create coherent visions/specifications that don’t need to be questioned at every turn.

        Good luck with that!

        Even the most advanced AI provides garbage out with garbage in.

        • Tim says:

          Tell that to radiologists and dermatologists (weird individuals that find your rash interesting…. )

          Certain AI projects out there are more accurate at providing a diagnosis than the majority of consultants in both specialities.

          I’m simply extrapolating from areas such as that to other occupations.

          Please read ‘The Future of professions’ by Richard and Daniel Susskind.

        • Clive says:

          Where Americans most come in contact with AI is junk phone calls. The quality of the recorded voices and the robots answers is getting better and better. How to defeat them: Upon pickup, say “hello” only one time.
          Want to screw with live humans? “Man, these computers are really getting good, it almost sounds human.” “I am a live human!”, “Sure you are” Click.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Right ya are VA,,, GIGO was and has been, and as far as I can find out, still is EXACTLY ”THE” Truth,,, or, at least in our constantly changing digital world, “A” TRUTH,,
          Until WE the PEEons ”get it” ,, that the various and sundry ”rulers of our world” are NOT going to ‘sign on’ to the very clear policies and procedures needed to promote the ”working classes”, and hence more ”equality” and, most importantly, “stability” and ”safety” for all innocents, etc., ,, i.e. the people of all kinds, ages, and any other concepts mostly devised in the first place to divide us from our naturally devised personal profits, WE WILL need to continue to protest, (hopefully peacefully) and if that doesn’t do it. STOP.
          Thank you.

        • Tim says:

          You don’t necessarily need creativity to produce successful outcomes.

          Mass data analysis can produce more useful answers to many questions. Just because machine interrogation of a question operates differently to human interrogation does not mean that it is less viable.

          The key point is the threshold where the machine system is sophisticated enough to discern the difference between useful data and ‘garbage in’.

          In certain areas of medicine, that has long been passed.

          It’s just that the specialities affected, on, say, 200000 dollars plus a year each as a consultant, don’t know it yet.

          And that’s simply pictoral pattern recognition. Treatment pathways and monitoring are not very far behind.

          Why should it not be the case for other occupations?

        • Tim says:

          And why should the ‘peeons’ or or the professionals be owed a dollar if they have nothing else to contribute?

          Only through a bonfire of entitlement will any new shoots of endeavour lead to new industries where gainful employment can be sustained.

        • Tim says:

          And why should the ‘peeons’ or or the professionals be owed a dollar if they have nothing else to contribute?

          Only through a bonfire of entitlement will any new shoots of endeavour lead to new industries where gainful employment may sustainable develop.

        • VeryAmused says:

          “Tell that to radiologists and dermatologists…”

          Sure, load in 100 million images of good and bad scans and skin irregularities and tag them with various meta data and AI can give you an answer to “What is this thing growing out of my neck?’.

          Give a computer a 10,000 word document thought up by two semi-technical dudes in an office 2000 miles away that describes how some complex system, used by humans and 10 other computer systems, should sort of kinda work and feed that to an AI and see how that works our for you.

          There is no AI in the world that is even close to handling that type of complexity,

          I can barely handle it and I am hella smart. ;)

        • Ed says:

          That is true, about “garbage in, garbage out”.

          But there are many, many paralegal, finance, design, and medical jobs at risk from AI. The world is awash in data and the machines are incredibly good at pattern recognition.

          Sure, there will be very well-paid jobs guiding the conclusions and writing the algorithms, but, for a surprisingly wide array of low and mid white collar jobs, AI is real.

          This time is not quite like the AI we all read about in Popular Mechanics when we were kids. There was no money in it then. Almost zero.

        • Tim says:

          Hmm, I would agree but for 2 problems.

          Doctors are generally intelligent individuals whose career has been built on learning and then distilling, large amounts of information into operational utility.

          Secondly, there is a well publicised exercise where an AI was utilised to analyse the outcomes of judicial proceedings and predict the likely outcomes for similar cases. It was more accurate than a comparative group of experienced litigators

          The self-interest bias of a professional group will always say ‘ah, but we are different’

          And you may be. My contention is, though, is that it may be for you a matter simply ‘not yet’.

          If AI can be used to massively improve weather prediction (and as far as I am aware it is currently employed to do so) factoring in huge variables.

          And grammarly can interrogate documents in many languages;

          Weather AI+grammarly = what for your particular area of expertise

        • Tim says:


          It may simply become the case that a parallel AI system bypasses the inefficiencies of a multiple human- multiple computer system.

    • polecat says:

      I don’t know. They could better put use of their precious time building siege engines, and there appears to suddenly be plenty of culled livestock throughout the realm, to adequately putrify – before being hurled at the elite’s ramparts.

      Also, one could become proficient in coded-messaging. Now THAT might be of something of value worth learning! .. especially when combined with the above.

    • Anthony A. says:

      You mean new jobs in India?

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      Yes, I hear India is looking for coders.

    • Implicit says:

      …hacking for a living

  5. MonkeyBusiness says:

    So Dow 400K soon? Nasdaq 50K?

    Facebook’s reporting ad numbers that’s similar to last year’s trend, meaning there’s enough money out there. We are essentially no worse than last year!!!

    • Phoenix_Ikki says:

      It might sound facetious but given what’s been happening the last 2 weeks, kind of surprise market didn’t rock up another 500pts with these unemployment numbers. I am sure they can pick some hidden silver lining in those numbers like “Oh 30M is not as bad as 35M we expected…”

      Guess we’re just have to wait, at the time of writing market has yet to close and who knows maybe they will pump that optimism back up on Friday.

      • apmon says:

        Do you know if all 30 million unemployed get the extra $600 a week cares act federal unemployment benefit? If yes, then the immediate economic impact from the first round of (possibly?) lower payed service jobs might indeed not be that large. And not till a little later when the secondary effects on higher paying jobs become apparent, or the federal unemployment booster runs out in a month or so will the full effects be felt.

      • Tim says:

        …..or maybe it’s sort of like feline thing looking energetic but oddly not meowing….

        • Wisdom Seeker says:

          Dead cat bounces a lot higher when it lands across a pair of high voltage power lines!

        • Tim says:

          I’m sorry, it’s probably because I am a bad person, but that really make me laugh.
          Thank you WisdomSeeker!

        • WES says:

          Wisdom Seeker:

          A real cat, bridging high voltage lines, does not perform a dead cat bounce and land on it’s feet!

          It gets 99.9% vaporized!

          Only a tuff of hair was left to tell it’s tale of whoe.

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        “Optimism” is the effect.

        Cause is more house money from the Fed for the stock exchange gamblers.

        • Phoenix_Ikki says:

          Was listening to a podcast talking about willful blindness/ ignorance and blind optimism is a coping mechanism for a lot of people and you see that in dealing with societal issues or even personal relationships.

          Perhaps this is the way traders and the market is dealing with such a sharp drop from back in March and how historically every bear trap rally happened.

  6. David Hall says:

    March 1 there were about 100 or 200 confirmed cases in the US. Two months later over 1,000,000.

    College students brought COVID-19 to the Sunshine State during spring break. The government closed the beaches and nonessential businesses afterward.

    During the Great Depression 25% of a nation was unemployed. People were hungry. The US savings rate is increasing as people pull back from squandering money on frivolous expenses.

    • Nicko2 says:

      There are lineups a mile long at New Jersey Food banks…second richest State.

      • andy says:

        SUV lineups? Is that where they load food directly into the back of your SUV?

      • Stephen says:

        Hmmm……would these be the people who are ‘increasing their savings rate’ because they no longer have to buy food? Inquiring minds would like to know.

        • backwardsevolution says:

          That does happen. I remember during one of our last recessions where the local news filmed a guy at two different food bank locations filling up the back of his brand new sports car with food bank food in one day. He and others were taking advantage of this “free food”. I guess if it’s there for the taking…..

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          Seen this week: 2 Range Rovers and a Porsche Cayenne in the food bank lineup.

    • Denise says:

      College kids did not bring COVID-19 to the sunshine state. It was already here brought to us by air travel from around the globe and cruise ships. The Sun Sentinel used to compile a database on where people who tested positive had traveled too. I was amazed at the number of early cases that came from
      Nile River boat cruises. A lot from Italy, Spain Iran, Ireland and of course NY, NJ and Mass. Floridians traveled abroad and lots of Europeans traveled here for sunshine like most of the country in the winter. China brought COVID to Italy and central European tourist destinations. Covid 19 came to the US by air travel from Europe.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        Thanks Denise, good summary.
        In tpa bay area, and reading extensively about this virus since Jan in SCMP and other Asia news sources, I had thought early on that we would be receiving it here from the huge annual inflow of sun seekers from around the world as you indicate, especially to the beautiful beaches and parties of SE FL in winter.
        What really amazed me however, was watching the tracking of the cell phones that had been on a section of beach down there as they went away AFTER spring break was broken up.
        Really and truly AMAZING! In so many ways, eh?

  7. Alan says:

    Now let’s watch certain states, adhering to NONE of the guidelines, supported by Lindsey Graham’s “No more indolent unemployment after June” edict, “open up” employment, failed return to which brings firing, which quickly eliminates those parents, workers, sick, unable to get there employees from unemployment compensation rolls, padding the employers’ PPP take, and voila – pandemic over, unemployment statistics dramatically improve, fake econometric stats soar while the no longer needed by capitalists families are starving and euthanizing themselves in their no longer utilitied homes uncounted in sunny electioneering huckstering. Save for the Munchin minions.

    • Candyman says:

      Wow so much hate and anger. Sorry you’re still crying that Trump won 3 years ago! Now, let’s put our sarcasm away and figure how to be productive individuals and be responsible for ourselves. We can ALL do better!

    • Happy1 says:

      So far, the largest per capita problems are in NYC area, Detroit, Chicago, and Louisiana. Specific factors relating to population density, Mardi Gra, and distrust of government authority seem to have more effect on cases per capita than the level of government mandated stay at home orders. Although WA and CA have done a little better than some large states with very onerous shut downs. It is a little premature to make conclusions now, but will be more clear when the short term shut downs are wound down, as they are obviously completely unsustainable for more than a month or two.

    • polecat says:

      Lindsey Graham can suck a unemployment claim dismissal ! If there ever was a more opportunistic southern Atlantic politician, then I’ve not seen one !! Talk about a power-hungry psychopath ..

  8. pete Stubben says:

    Week 6, u mean, of the rally…PJS

    • Wolf Richter says:

      pete Stubben,

      This shit just astounds me. 30 million people have lost their jobs in six weeks, and all you can think about is stocks. This is the kind of shit that makes me despair over humanity.

      • MD says:

        It’s a way of living (?) that’s been institutionalized since the days of Reagan/Thatcher.

        It doesn’t matter if you’re a greedy obnoxious sociopath, or a bully, as long as you’re a ‘winner’ in the race to be the best basic primate and have the most ‘stuff’.

        Any other life view is, of course, ‘communism’…

        • Cas127 says:

          Nothing like sweeping political pronouncements involving the judgments of hundreds of millions of individuals based on the tossed off comments of one dumb*ss on an internet board.

        • intosh says:

          Great summary of the trajectory this society has been heading on.

          Trump is the poster boy and living proof of that.

        • Canadian says:

          There is a clear third path between the pillaging and theft of the Trump way, and the indolence and entitlement of the socialist way.

          Unfortunately, it involves personal responsibility, effort, and comes with no phony “guarantees,” so the average lazy westerner doesn’t want to even consider it.

        • Mostly accurate summation. McLuhan notes success in the stock market depends on accurate timing in a process of grasp and release, which was programmed in our DNA by arboreal primates. Wall St traders are swinging in the trees. The linear accumulation of assets came later, through mechanization, or the printing of money, wherein we cut down trees for paper. Algorithms are reversing everything.

      • noname says:

        Come to Korn Kountry/Bible Belt. You’d be astounded at the comments I hear. People literally say it’s a scam. I’ve begun to despair as well.

        • Ed says:

          I work at a tech company and my co-workers are, by and large, highly educated.

          More than a few were saying the virus was a hoax, nothing more than the flu until a month or so back. Educated people in urban centers can be just as foolish, if they’re opinions about events are driven mainly by politics.

      • Olivier says:

        Pete was probably being sarcastic. But only he knows.

      • VeryAmused says:

        Don’t despair Wolf, it is all just part of the human material.

        We need kind selfless caring people just like we need selfish douchebros who sign their posts with their initials.

        It is what makes the world the fascinating place it is…VA

      • Cas127 says:


        Not to mention the fact that the 30 million unemployed are going to slam stocks anyway by Q2.

        PS can lack humanity *and* be economically illiterate.

        • sunny129 says:

          That number is moot b/c now FED is the market which equates the indexes as the Economy just like ‘you know who’!

          Today DJIA should have gone down close 1000 pts, couldn’t pass even 400 pts. Hopium and the confidence in Fed, more stronger than the reality!

      • Tim says:

        What you are seeing, Wolf, is a fear driven ‘Three Wise Monkeys’.

        Fear producing a cognitive equivalent of a waterfall in front of the ability to rationally think forward.

        This leads to reaching for the known and comfortable because to do more is too frightening.

        For those soak wet through in the other side of that waterfall, yes, God, how could they not despair?

      • sunny129 says:

        That shouldn’t be a surprise!
        The disconnect between the Wall St and the Main street, continues!

        Yesterday, Mr. Powell promised almost ‘ will do, whatever it takes’ to keep the bubble and more measures when there is another leak.

        The top 10% who own more than 90% Wall St wealth are convinced that Fed will do ‘any thing’ to from of deflating this bubble. The bottom 90% matters little!

        It is mainly Fed vs Corona, going forward with ‘perception’ narrative vs the reality on the ground!

        • Stephen C. says:

          I think the idea behind the stock market optimism is that corporations are salivating at the even cheaper labor to be had soon. That’s been a feature for 40 years now, and it promises to continue for the next 40 years.

      • MonkeyBusiness says:

        Actually the fact that the stock market is able to rally even with 30 million people unemployed is what makes me despair over humanity.

        It’s basically:
        1. A bunch of people taking advantage of EVERY SINGLE CRISIS to line up their pockets. In fact, they probably always want a crisis.
        2. No skin in the game. Heads I win, tails you lose.
        3. And this has happened AGAIN and AGAIN.

        At the end of the day, the philosophical question is: is progress ultimately an illusion. I think it is.

        In the meanwhile I was thinking of volunteering to do some COBOL programming since that seems to be the bottleneck in getting people their checks, but no, after spending two full days trying to understand the thing, I’ve come to the conclusion that yours truly will just F it up. I am just not that good.

      • Icanwalk says:

        Cognitive dissonance seems to run the gamut here on your site, Wolf.

        I have made the personal choice to trust your writings. You are on a very short list.

        What you have brought your readers over the past few weeks, taken in sum, is the worst news I have heard in my life.

        It is plausible to me that many posters here would make comments that are not kind in general. And some have seemingly expressed a desire to profit from it. It hasn’t hit them yet. The horror.

        The flu of one hundred years ago took 2 years before it abated. We are in this sh*t 6 weeks?

        Good luck to all, and do your best to take care of family friends and neighbors.

      • implicit says:

        I catch your drift; however people feel their book cause money matters. Doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t care about the unemployed.

      • Trinacria says:

        Amen Wolf !!! As I’ve repeated too many times, it is tough being an “ant” in a world full of “grasshoppers”.

      • Sit23 says:

        The more I read, the more grateful I am that my ancestors chose New Zealand to live in.

        • Trinacria says:

          Sit23 – although from my perspective, the prime minister there is a little too politically correct for my taste and a bit dictatorial to boot….my opinion.

      • Mr. Knoss says:

        Rest assured, the people in Michigan protesting house arrest are not thinking about stocks.

      • Trinacria says:

        Hi Wolf, I just noticed that you used mild profanity in your post to Pete Stubben (frankly I don’t blame you)….however, YOUR COMMENT IS NOW AWAITING MODERATION …..ha, ha, ha…..LOL

  9. Bobber says:

    A lot of this unemployment (say 70 of it) is going to resolve quickly when B&M retail opens up, so I think it’s a temporary blip. Other aspects of the unemployment will undoubtedly linger for years. 3% unemployment was an anomaly that may return for decades.

    • Albert Dallas says:

      Many brick and mortar stores will never reopen.

      The ones that do will no doubt take this opportunity to hire back their cheaper junior employees first.

      • Frederick says:

        You mean like JCPenny, Sears and possibly Macy’s I agree they may never reopen or at least to the degree that they operated before the crisis at least
        Who knows about the energy sector and companies like Boeing and the airlines

        • Tim says:

          In the UK some quarters are suggesting up to 20per cent if high street shops will not open/fail in the coming months.

  10. Mostly red states in the top ten. Is this the end of Trumpy Bear?

    • S.C. HEEL says:

      Not if we get another round of stimulus. While my $3400.00 came direct deposit, I just noticed a letter from IRS letting me know that I had indeed received a $3400.00 direct deposit stimulus and it was politely signed at the bottom by Donald J. Trump. The first gimme I ever received or accepted in my life. I feel a little bit guilty about it. I do promise to spend it all though on house repairs and furniture I have been putting off waaaaayyyyy to long according to my dear wife.

  11. Albert Dallas says:

    Makes jobs based healthcare sorta pointless doesn’t it?

    • Wisdom Seeker says:

      Thank you for pointing this out.

    • Bobber says:

      That’s obvious now, more than ever. Try to tell that to a Healthcare Fat Cat though, who has government officials in his pocket. They know prices go down if government is doing buying, simply because they’ll have to state a price for procedures, like any other service business.

      • Cas127 says:

        “They know prices go down if government is doing buying, simply because they’ll have to state a price for procedures”

        Well, somehow this didn’t stop wildfire medical inflation for the last 45 years, when Medicare and Medicaid were already footing 50% of all medical expenditures.

        I think you badly underestimate special interests’ ability to take over and squeeze dry the political process.

        And broad compelled disclosure of pricing has really only come into existence over the last 4 or so years…50 years after the initiation of Medicare.

        • Ed says:

          Don’t forget there’s a law on the books that Medicare can’t “distort the markets” by negotiating lower prices. They have to pay prevailing rates.

          This was passed in the 1990’s by our U.S. Congress, in theory the people sent to Washington to work for the people. Some of the benefits of broader health care are explicitly denied the U.S. taxpayer . . . by law of Congress. Nuts!

          If we hadn’t started out so rich, this kind of thing would have destroyed the country. As it is, health care costs are making the median American a lot poorer than he should be.

    • mtnwoman says:

      Yes, health insurance tied to employement was always stupid.
      Now it’s indefensible.
      Yet, when one is getting rich by defending it (hello Congress) , now taxpayers have to subsidize private heath insurance companies so they can persist in denying us care.

      • Steve says:

        Blame the Unions for Employer paid Health care. When the Internal Revenue Code began in 1913, Unions opted for Employer paid Health Care over increased wages.

    • motorcycle guy says:

      Albert Dallas,

      Have you heard of the “$50.00/month solution?” It also covers pre-extisting conditions.

    • Canadian says:

      I suspect most Americans will support a government healthcare program that is “free,” with attendant sky-high taxes and long waits for procedures. Given the recent tilt by the right wing towards “people over 70 should just die so we can reopen the country,” the other core pillar of a government health monopoly may also be popularly accepted — that of denying care to “undesirables” (too old, too sick, too obese, etc.)

  12. Brant Lee says:

    Most likely with the summer heat begins the real meltdown (no pun). States cannot continue to provide unemployment payments and everyone can’t work forced labor in a meat-packing plant.
    I’m sure the real date to watch is up to November elections. The cash fountain and hot air promises will stop from the Federal government, that is even if the dollar still has value by then. The elections will have already cemented a cruel divide into citizens, the ones who are looking for their next meal.

  13. Jdog says:

    The largest export categories in the US are Food & Beverage, Crude oil, Aviation ( Passenger planes ), heavy construction equipment, and automobiles. With the exception of Food, does anyone see a market for any of the other industries anywhere in the world?

    • Nicko2 says:

      Africa and South Asia are still growing.

    • Happy1 says:

      Wouldn’t technology and entertainment qualify as our largest export categories by revenue? Probably be a large margin? I don’t know the numbers admittedly.

    • timbers says:

      Antarctica is an unpenetrated market, I hear.

    • Implicit says:

      Robotics is growing , and taking more jobs away in the process. People might want to get “amped” in the future just keep up. Learn to use an exoskeleton.

    • andy says:

      Nah, it’s Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube, obviously.

  14. RD Blakeslee says:

    We can count on bankers to do OK, though:

    Dear Lee Bank Customer,

    Lee Bank is wishing you and your family comfort and health during these unprecedented times. We, too, are faced with challenges as we navigate our way through these unusual circumstances. It is because of the change in our current rate environment that we are writing to inform you of a change we are making to our Kasasa® Cash Checking account.

    Beginning on May 1, 2020 the following changes will occur regarding your Kasasa® Cash Checking account:

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY): Will change from 3.00% to 2.50%*
    Interest Rate: Will change from 2.956% to 2.469%

    • Lisa_Hooker says:

      As of 01 May 2020 Kasasa Cash pays 2.5% up to $10,000, 0.5% over $10,000 and 0.05% for any amount if you do not have direct deposit, estatements and 12 debit card purchases per period.

  15. cesqy says:

    Thirty million people forced onto the dole by a government saving them from a either a pandemic, plandemic, or scamdemic at $600 a week. Something wrong IMHO when statistics say China with about four times the population has a measly 80,000+ infections while the USA has over 1,000,000+.

    • Happy1 says:

      China has vastly undercounted. And the end note on the pandemic is not yet written.

    • Shawn says:

      There is a study done by the American Enterprise Institute that tallies up China’s actual number of cases at 2.9 million.

      • cesqy says:

        Yet we believe China’s selective tally of economic numbers. …smiling at the dichotomy.

        • Social Nationalist says:

          Everybody has known that since the end of January.

        • Tim says:

          …and safety of intellectual property…. and employee standards that really do meet the marketing brochures of those cell phones bought by everyone we know.

          …. and all those transplant organs that miraculously are available, tissue matched on demand, that do not seem to have the waiting times other medical systems in the west have……

    • Saylor says:

      ‘reportedly’ and certainly a ‘rumor’ but one obtained from someone quite possibly ‘in the know’….per satellite photos, there were a LOT of mass graves outside certain cities in China.

      • Wolf Richter says:


        In China, the dead are now mostly cremated.

        But yes, lots of people picked up the urns from their deceased relatives. Over a very short time period in Wuhan, the estimates run into tens of thousands more urns than normal.

        • Tim says:

          I think he meant the mass graves spotted in Iran..

        • Thomas Roberts says:

          Officially, in China, cremation is required for everyone, for about the last 6 years or so. I would expect almost all the cities in China to be cremating everyone, regardless of what they died of. Cremation is required, but in china the way laws are enforced, can vary by region and the current regional officials. Half of China’s population, lives in literally, not exaggerating, about a million villages and the official laws are not always enforced, away from cities.

          The reason it’s required is partly, because, of how much land is required and so bodies don’t ever have to be dug and moved as cities or roads/rails expand. But, more ominously, and more importantly, burial is banned, because, it’s a part of ancient Chinese culture and Xi Jinping, want’s to replace that with worship towards him and the CCP.

        • Wisdom Seeker says:

          Or the mass graves in NYC parks? Ecuador?

          I guess it’s one more industry that was globalized!

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Yes, Chinese statistics are bullshit. From the very beginning, China launched a global disinformation campaign about the outbreak in China. This is now becoming clear to everyone. Well, almost everyone…

      • VintageVNvet says:

        True that Wolf, and as one studying not only SCMP every day, but also the Xinhua and StraitsTimes, and EpochTimes, and AsiaTimes, or, whatever the correct spelling of those websites are,,, IMO, there has been and continues to be a ton of both ”dis” and ”mis” information coming out of China as well as many other nations of the world,,,
        Having said THAT, I, for one, am not convinced at this point about the actual verisimilitude of ANY of the information coming out of ANY location, SO FAR…
        And, I suspect that, in spite of the attitudes of many of the ”elite” and so forth, many many people of USA and many other nations feel that the information they/WE are getting is BOGUS/BS/ bunch of POOP,,, etc., etc.
        Thanks again for your clarity and compassion.

      • Tim says:

        Please see my post above about the chinese trade in organs for transplant…

        Their medical profession silence on that is beyond words.

      • Tim says:

        By which I mean, on so many levels, ‘nothing to see here, move along..’

        And let’s not go near those ‘vulture funds’ circulating distressed corporate bonds… Have they not seen how long Chinese courts take to settle disputes?

        Moths circulating the flame seems more likely..

      • S.C. HEEL says:

        Traveled in China for business sourcing bullsh*** throwaway kitsch garbage consumables. Was told by so many others doing the same for longer than me that you only trust perhaps 10% of promises made to you by the exporting manufacturers. You get shipped what is available…not necessarily what you conracted for. Luckily its cheap disposable crap and not life sustaining items.

    • Jdog says:

      If you believe China’s numbers I would love to show you some beautiful soon to be beachfront property in Arizona……

      • WES says:


        The Painted Desert’s fabled beach front properties!

        … standing on a corner, in Winslow, Arizona …

      • VintageVNvet says:

        10-4 to that Jpup,,, and I will add some special deals, only available to dedicated WS commenters, for,, ”soon to be waterfront” property in FL, GA, AL, MS, TX, etc..
        OH, wait, it’s already Under the water,,,
        Not to worry, you will soon be able to build on it as this Ice Age we are in accelerates to make the water go way way away, eh
        And, to be shore, and ”far out”,,, I also have a really good deal on a bridge from here to there, even if there is not quite there yet…
        OK WS,, does that summarize the current situation adequately for youse?? Or do I need to add a ”sin ig fi can’t” bit of Engelish??

        Thanks again,

    • S.C. HEEL says:

      I know it sounds awful but first time I have heard SCAMDEMIC. That”s funny.

    • MCH says:

      According to the WHO, China has done an excellent job of containing the virus. It’s a model that should be emulated. At least that was the rumor in February, or was it March.

      And the WHO is headed by scientists. Are you gonna believe WHO or a bunch of conspiracy theorists…



      • Jdog says:

        WHO is China’s propaganda outlet. They have about as much credibility as CNN. These are the people who told you not to wear masks because they were not effective….. and we need them for healthcare workers.. So they are effective for healthcare workers, but not for anyone else? Really?
        They also said there was no danger of human to human spread of Covid-19.

        • MCH says:

          But… but… but… they are scientists, and doctors, and are data driven….

          That’s what I keep hearing on KQED (the local NPR station in the SF bay area) at least.

          The data said in February. Not a pandemic.
          The data said in January. No human transmission.
          The data said… blah blah blah


    • MC01 says:

      Forget the statistics: China has a lot of explaining to do.
      This virus was already in Italy in early January/late December, much sooner than originally believed. It’s now estimated the original outbreak in Wuhan happened in November, or perhaps in October already and Chinese authorities did not “ignore it”. They knew exactly what they were dealing with. They whitewashed all news about it while at the same time studying the thing.
      When the virus struck here and we asked China for help, they didn’t give us their data. They gave us junk that made no sense, starting by speed and loci of the observed mutations. Why? Two reasons.
      First, epidemiological data would have shown us not just that the virus was already everywhere, but that the Chinese government followed that development every step of the way without notifying the world. Damning evidence enough.
      Second, the false data completely wrecked our decision-making process as nothing we did early on seemed to make a dent on this thing and the virus didn’t behave according to any model.

      None of this would have been possible without the OMS/WHO backing every single lie originating from Beijing. They are still doing it right now: why are we sternly warned that going back to work will result in a “second wave” while China is already 80-90% up and running without the OMS complaining in the very least? Is China now somehow immune to this terrifying “second wave”? Or perhaps is Beijing still trying to sabotage us by delaying the start of our recovery even further? The media should be ashamed of using this now completely discredited organization as a source.

      The big problem is, of course, that China is already up and running while we are still locked up at home doing nothing. By “doing nothing” I mean we have no plans of getting out of this thing: all we have are promises to somehow soften the lockdown but mitigated by abundant threats to bring it back in full force if we somehow dare to sneeze. Just what we need to stimulate investing: uncertainty of the worst kind. Most people will just sneak out of the house for a jog and lock themselves up again.
      In the meantime Bank of China Aviation, the leasing arm of the State-owned banking titan, has bought 22 aircraft from United Airlines for an “undisclosed sum”, all in cash. These aircraft will be immediately leased back to United. No more comments are needed.

      China is beating us into a pulp, fair enough: but this doesn’t mean we have to roll out the red carpet to them.

      • MCH says:

        Wow, the leasing news is interesting. Never let a good crisis go to waste. I wonder what the long term agreements entails, I would assume this is about paying down debts in the near term, but I can’t imagine BoC Aviation would set up terms that are not profitable in the long run. Unless United goes bankrupt again. I saw the interesting part was that these were 787-9 and 737 Max, I wonder if the 787s are at least operational right now.

        tongue in cheek comment again: Remember, trust the WHO, it is run by doctors and scientists. They are absolutely unbiased and are totally data driven. After all, we had a bunch of great data-driven advice about the fact that this wasn’t a pandemic early on, and masks were not needed (until recently) and should be reserved.

  16. KPL says:

    Not to worry, the Fed is on the job. Few 10s of millions more unemployed is all that is needed to get Dow to 40k. Powell will make sure we get there. By the time it gets to 50 million and Powell will ensure Dow gets to 50k. Atta boy, Powell!

    • Beardawg says:

      I do not understand what appears to be a correlation between increased UE and DJIA / S&P rising 200+ pts per day. Are the markets factoring in soon to be nationalization of companies or industries – equating to socialistic employment ala “everyone who wants a job can have a job” but still having privatized profits somehow?

      • Cas127 says:

        Q1 only had 15 to 20% of its time period affected – those are the numbers being reported now.

        Q2 numbers (bearing the overwhelming bulk of C19 unemployment impact) won’t be reported until the last week in July and first week in August.

        Right now there are a lot of stockbrokers selling a lot of suckers on a dead cat bounce.

      • Jdog says:

        Have you ever heard of pump and dump?

  17. Mike says:

    If it’s any consolation our comrades in China are also looking at jobless numbers exceeding 20%. Happy International Workers Day (May Day) from the CCP! The CCP are also censoring the severity of the situation.

    Wolf link below from news article from Straits Times – hope you don’t mind.


  18. akiddy111 says:

    Sad to see 30 million unemployment claims right now.

    I am guessing 25 million or more of those will return to work within the next 90 days. That will be a beautiful sight to behold.

    It will be exciting to witness once again the joy among people when the global economy gets back to full swing within 180 days.

    I would not be surprised to see the S&P 500 above 3500 by year end.

    Don’t worry about those plunges, collapses and crashes that you read about everywhere. Take them with a grain of salt.

    And stay positive. It’s the best feeling in the world.

    • sunny129 says:

      Are you real?

      • VintageVNvet says:

        C’mon sol21,,, isn’t that obvious???
        So far, the only real danger about WolfStreet is that some of the very humours and/or very droll and/or very subtle sarcasm makes me laugh so hard that I am beginning to hope it will do the job that, apparently, this virus, though promised to do so, has not, so far done…
        Thanks again folks,,, really enjoy the education,,, and the laughs.
        Might even have to jump back into some market other than ”liquidity” though the new mugs certainly seem to ”require” maintaining the liquidity levels, (or increasing them.)

    • Jdog says:

      So… stockbroker, or real estate agent?

    • TXRancher says:

      Blowing sunshine up southbound side of northbound bull!

    • Phoenix_Ikki says:

      Glad you exist in an alternate reality..too bad when the people that got laid off needs to feed their family, they can feed them hopes, dreams and magic fairy dust.

    • Frederick says:

      You forgot to add the “sarc” tag 111

    • LifeSupportSystem4aVote says:

      You forgot to mention the leprechauns riding unicorns tossing fairy dust and gold nuggets that will be the main attraction in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in November (in celebration of Macy’s becoming the largest and most profitable retailer ever).

  19. mr wake up says:

    Regardless covid returns or not and if it does then yes all bets off. And this is still highly likely how did we go from everyone beware to all is clear?? Plus Florida reopened and already spike in cases in Miami, plus China has new outbreak and shut down city of 10million. Cali closed beachs.

    Germany having problems too not to mention Europe is going down the drain in general….

    Well in the short term Trump and his wizard Powell and Munich will do everything they can along with CNBC, WSJ etc to keep the masses tricked into feeling safe economically and spend spend, and trust and keep faith in the Fed put and PPT. Which has been the markets saviour. Sept 2019 (Repo Market crisis in the banks) we had trouble that was unspoken for prior to covid.

    This will keep markets rising over next several weeks as the fake news improves along with quarter back trump and his cheerleaders chant to the fans all is well.

    Although the wealthiest people are waiting on the sidelines and unloading assets for cash should be big red flag. They see bigger ops to come.

    I think the damage has been done even if we go back. We are not going back normal.

    The next 2 years will bring the following.

    Many people will not have jobs to go to.

    Many business will go bust small and big companies alike, thanks to the fed we will have many zombie companies too.

    Cost of food will spike triggering a spending problem. The unemployment will stay high. Mortgage, credit, car loans will rise in default due to high unemployment.

    Residential Real estate will drop commercial real estate will drop malls will fail old office towers will fail. Amusment parks, sports venues, will crash, Blue states will face the worst damage as the tax receipts drop extremely wealthy people will continue to flee for tax free states and many people will be forced to leave because they wont afford to live in major cities with no work.

    Many jobs will reduce pay along with reduce spending as they all try to become profitable for shareholders again.

    Local governments say federal goverment needs to pass law for bankruptcy but dont mention they can just default on bonds, and force reduce pension payments which is waiting at the end of the line.

    As the tax receipts collapse, the real meat on the bone income in our states that come from real estate sales, mortgages and most important the unicorn that’s been shot in the head IPOs,

    The IPO market is a huge drive in revenue for tech cities like silicon valley and NYC that’s all dried up so the states will lose all the tax revenue.

    We can all go on and on and with this and we are, but overall no U no V shape it’s going to be a W for years to come when you mix reality with the smoke and mirrors economy.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Very good Summary mr wu,, please continue to share your thoughts and conclusions with us Peeons here on this wonderful website,,, and to be somewhat ”forward thinking” do NOT be discouraged if Wolf edits some of your comments; happened to me, and from what i read, many here, but somewhat ameliorated by actually reading his ”rules and so forth” which I heartily agree to, in the name of decency, etc.

      • mr wake up says:

        Thank you Vintage v.

        It’s ok he’s our editor in chief plus we are virtual blog tourists.

        I actually find it interesting to see the edits.

        Also learning from experience what to avoid. I respect it too this is what keeps this thread from breaking the needle and having to add disclaimers and blackout texts and worst of all poor comments. In other words it’s how he keeps it classy…

    • polecat says:

      I vote for a ‘Z’ shaped economy .. with that particular letter tilted to the left, and downward in it’s orientation, to better illustrate our common predicament. Round off the bends a bit .. and it becomes a Chute, rather than a ladder !

  20. Tony says:

    Don’t forget these job claims are due to govt keeping people from working. It’s not your typical collapse.
    Jobs were there previously and people were FORCED to not work by the govt .e.g. “non essentials”

    The PPP loans and EIDL are literally being issued and I know a lot of people who’ve already gone back to work as a result. The claims will subside.

    so, all you guys on here who love to watch the world burn…need to relax.

    • Happy1 says:

      I’ve been one asserting the danger of the pandemic from a very early time in January, my family thought I was nuts, but basically everything I predicted (school shut downs, stay home orders, mass unemployment, cancellation of commercial flight, mass casualties in Europe and large cities in US) played out as I suspected.

      But now I also find myself agreeing with those who suggest that we have probably hit a peak in hospital utilization and should be looking at how to work with the virus. The current shut downs can only prevent ICUs from overfilling, and outside of NYC area and New Orleans, they were very successsful.

      But we are now at a point that we need to get back to work. How can this be done in ways that minimize death and protect the most vulnerable without bankrupting everyone? I think there are common sense steps. Obviously large gatherings are out. Much stronger nursing home protections are required. People should be handwashing. But can other businesses open and operate successfully? Can we also let people work from home? Can people start to get out and walk and hike and travel in some limited ways? I think the answer is “yes”. That means living with some level of pandemic. But what is the alternative? Everyone being locked in their home for 24 months until there may or may not be a vaccine? The wind down is much more important now.

      • cesqy says:

        Don’t worry be happy. Forget the Fed and distancing, mother nature will take care of those who haven’t caught the virus yet.

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        If you want your economy back, start wearing face masks at all times when outside the home. And learn how to make good ones and wear them properly. And for crying out loud don’t go into public spaces and if you do, stay far, far away from anyone else. 6′ is a bare minimum – to be avoided – not a goal to be achieved.

        If more people would just wake up and learn the playbook, that will keep the death rates down and give everyone room to get a job going again. And give others the confidence that they can go out into the world without getting fatally ill from the idiots.

        Those over 65 should avoid leaving home.

        • Xabier says:

          Very true: simple and dirt-cheap tools and practices to get things moving asap.

          Maybe those over 65 yrs of age could sign disclaimers, so that if they don’t want to be imprisoned at home they will not over-burden hospitals?

          Maturity: take the risk if you like, but don’t burden others.

          I have to say though that the people in the US calling this a ‘hoax’ and refusing to wear masks or take precautions leave me dumbfounded.

          So stupid that one wonders how they manage to function on a daily basis.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          This for Xabier:
          Part of the ”ethos” of ‘murrica is that we are ‘bullet proof’ until, and only until, proven otherwise.
          (Certainly not the same as and not to be confused with our nominal rule in the legal system ”innocent until proven guilty, etc.)
          This idea, and the illusions of adequacy that follow it, along with the very very clear dumbing down of the public education system, the system in which the vast majority of us ‘murricans have received our educations for the last 4 or 10 decades/ generations, is exactly what has led to the current state of ignorance, etc. in USA,,, as opposed to either of two systems formerly educating most folks here and I suppose elsewhere:
          1. The school of ”hard knocks” in which, for example, my paternal grandpa was sufficiently educated after dropping out in 8th grade to be a licensed AIA architect in as many as 26 different states at one point, and, similarly and more recently (though a few decades ago also, ) a couple friends became the last licensed architect and PE in a west coast state w/o any ‘formal’ education beyond HS.
          2. The former public education system in USA, which required every grad to be able to spell, do ‘numbers’ up to and including addition, subtraction, fractions including per cents, etc., etc., etc… none of which, apparently, are required for HS, and similarly in my recent experience some public Colleges and Universities.
          This is not only a shame on us, but a very heavy burden, as is clear these days on all of us everywhere that would prefer to see all folks at least sufficiently educated to be able to parse a sentence as well as understand a simple contract of purchase and payments.
          In fact, I have heard of some folks here in USA that are asking for a link between sufficient education clearly proven, and both driving licenses and ability to sign contracts for payments, etc…
          Hey, we can all dream, eh

    • Social Nationalist says:

      Yeah, but when Claims stay elevated, you point will be dead. Credit markets have been damaged.

    • Saylor says:

      ” all you guys on here who love to watch the world burn”? This site far more positive than any other I know of.
      That said, we could easily go back to work now. For one, because now we know more about the virus than earlier. (20/20 hindsight and all that) and just with the simple actions of wearing quality masks and sanitizing hands regularly would pretty much fix this mess. But not only do we still have those knuckle dragger protesters that DON’T wear masks and crowd together coupled with the industrialists that insist on workers coming back to work but don’t apply the accumulated knowledge, we are doomed. Making me someone that expects the world to burn but certainly do not ‘love’ it.

      • Jdog says:

        It is basically simply a divide between people who realize that actions have equal and opposite reactions, and people who deny it.

        It is not a matter of wanting to see the world burn, no one wants that.

        Realists have been screaming for years that what we are doing is not economically feasible and that there would be a price to pay, that does not mean they want to see the misery, but they do want people to stop making the same stupid mistakes that cause the problem to begin with.

    • polecat says:

      This is what’s so galling – the plebs, through no falt of their own, get the screw .. whilst Mnuchin, Powell, and Co. clink crystal cut glasses drinking champagne, patting ea. other on the back – sof the poor stupids !

      So They Think..

      • Jdog says:

        It is the plebs fault. Without their full and voluntary cooperation, none of this scheme works.

    • TXRancher says:

      Tell that to my 65 year old neighbor who worked for Chesapeake Energy and just brought his trailer home back from where he was working in Beaumont TX area. Lost job forever.

    • andy says:

      Perhaps you can explain why the Fed started panicing in September? Did they see coronavirus in their models?

  21. Claud Brahman says:


    Are you sure Nothing goes to heck in a straight line?

  22. c1ue says:

    California will surge to #1 next week.
    This week – gig workers and self-employed were allowed to file, as well as COVID-19 affected.

  23. Cobalt Programmer says:

    The $1200 covers for the month of April. Even now, there is somewhat an uneasy calm that, cases will drop in a couple of weeks, stay-at-home order will be lifted,and then normal business. Now, tomorrow is May 1 but everything is not open. People need another $1200 tax advance to cover. If not, then by May 15, there must be signs that business will be open. By the end of May, people will get really angry.

    Economy and stock market are related but now they are uncoupled. Lot of retirement accounts are still in stocks, they do not want to back off. Why sell low, if the stocks will be worth more tomorrow.

    • Social Nationalist says:

      Stock market is going have crash 2 when sentiment loses hope. That is probably when the recession will be ending, in terms of growth. Very sharp, short recession that will take years to recover from. Though by the time it does, the Boomer withdrawal will be petering out, retirements will be decaying and natural rate of growth should be rising as the Millies come into peak spending years. That is the good sign of the coin. GDP potential should rise a tad in the 20’s and 30’s.

    • neplusultra says:

      “Lot of retirement accounts are still in stocks, they do not want to back off. Why sell low, if the stocks will be worth more tomorrow.”

      They’ll keep things afloat until the Boomers croak and then let the shtf. Everyone else can deal with the financial and ecological destruction. Thanks boomers!

      • Joe says:

        Have you tried to get money from a bank after they pass?
        Took 2 years with papers and depositions from everyone they could think of.

      • Xabier says:

        All declining civilizations cling to failed models until the bitter end, and then collapse.

        Millennials are merely unfortunate enough to be coming to maturity in the collapse phase of our model, Boomers to have lived in the growth and plateau phase.

    • cesqy says:

      Next year, families with kids will get another extra $500 each when they file taxes. That should be the “just in time” stimulus the economy really needs.

    • Clive says:

      ‘By the end of May, people will get really angry.’

      Beat the rush, collapse all your bill paying now!

      “Debt Strike” the two words that strike more fear into the elite than any other.

  24. Anthony A. says:

    A local Landry’s restaurant nearby sent an email to previous customers about their May 1st re-opening date. The rule in Texas states they can’t allow more than 25% of its stated customer capacity inside at any one time.

    Landry’s said in the email that they will not open the location near us because at 25% capacity they can’t break even, cost wise. So everyone (employees & customers of Landry’s) gets to stay home and practice social distancing.

    • cesqy says:

      I’m looking forward to sitting in a pub with my gin and quinine, 3 feet from a girl I’m interested in, and carry on a conversation with her from our cell phones. All while I’m pretending to watch the e-sports on the flat screen above the bar.

    • Xabier says:

      Same imbecilic capacity rules for ‘safe re-opening ‘ in Spain and elsewhere: set by bureaucrats (who are no doubt safely ‘home-working’) who have no idea as to how business actually functions. It’s infuriating!

  25. Joe says:

    Bubble suits…next big investment thing…
    Weeble suits, he webble and he wobbles and he won’t fall down.
    Trust me, would I lie?
    I have a degree in B.S. does that count?

  26. DR DOOM says:

    I don’t get the Nevada lower % vs Michigan. If it is accurate this is already showing broad sector impacts. The shoulder on the non-Gaussian response curve is presenting a situation more alarming than the peak. The integration of a limit of where this shoulder could equillibrate using a 300k loss equillibrium is damn worrying.

  27. Saylor says:

    So here in SoCal we have stores where certain canned goods are pretty much bought up. Buy ups of pasta is close to rabid. I’ve gotten some indication of supply chain issues from chain market employees, that are present but not deal breaking, fresh veggies are still plentiful as is fruit. Meat prices are ‘stable’ but I’m not seeing any sales now.
    All Fyi

    • California Bob says:

      Apparently, there has been a run on freezers.

    • Phoenix_Ikki says:

      Heard Costco now putting limit on meat as well. Guess it’s inevitable the hording of meat from the expected shortage will happen. If it isn’t one thing is another.

      • WES says:


        The shortage of meat isn’t because people are hoarding!

        There is a shortage of meat in grocery stores because people are eating at home more and eating in restaurants less!

        The same for toliet paper!

        • They had to destroy several million chickens and meat packing plants are full of covid. If they let me go the beach here in CA I would probably throw in a line.

  28. NARmageddon says:

    “Gain of function” will be a big phrase this week. Re: Coroanvirus

  29. MD says:

    Employee loyalty and ‘going the extra mile’ (ie doing unpaid work_ demanded and received.

    Employer loyalty and ‘going the extra mile’ to help put food on the table – totally absent.

    A completely one-sided contract in loyalty and forbearance.

    If this doesn’t open people’s eyes to the fact that your employer is not your ‘family’, then nothing ever will!!

    • No Expert says:

      I dont think many workers fall for that old line, they just pretend to – to survive.

  30. Eric Ma says:

    Since California allows independent contractors and gig workers to file unemployment from April 28. We may see another 1 to 2 million new unemployment claims next week in California alone. I am not sure how other states deal with independent contractors, but the data will be more ugly in the next few weeks. Independent contractors are about 1/3 of the US labor force.
    I guess the real unemployment rate including independent contractors is already at 30% right now!

    • Norma says:

      I heard that people who have applied for unemployment, but have not gotten it yet are not counted. I’m in Boise, Idaho and I’m hearing that 30% of people applying have not yet received benefits.

      On another note, the firm I work for got and received the maximum from the PPP loan and then outsourced our payroll to ADP, probably to comply with the law and put the burden on a third party for compliance. I’m supposed to be paid by the end of the month (today). Still nothing is showing up in my bank account….

  31. breamrod says:

    know a server at ihop. was making about 600 to 750 a week. Was a good worker. Now gets 900 a week to stay home. Doesn’t want to go back to work. Says he’s making more money than he ever did so why work?

    • Eric Ma says:

      If the government doesn’t cover most or 100% of their pay during the pandemic, more people would try to risk their lives to work. Remember the extra $600/week unemployment benefit is only temporary. People still need to work when the pandemic is over.

  32. Chauncey Gardiner says:

    Wow!… Those filing initial claims for unemployment insurance over the past six weeks comprised a little over 23% of total U.S. private sector employees at the end of February, not including those who were unable to find work but did not qualify or successfully file for state unemployment insurance for whatever reason. What a sad and distressing state of affairs. Strong argument for Universal Basic Income.


  33. ewmayer says:

    “Most of the states reported fewer initial unemployment claims this week” — So tomorrow’s financial-media headlines will be along the lines of “Markets rally on decreasing unemployment claims; ‘The worst is clearly behind us’: analyst.”

  34. S.C. HEEL says:

    As an employer I know I will be most loyal to those that showed up everyday for work during these past months. We are an essential business. Thank God. I would drive my wife crazy otherwise.

  35. MCH says:


    just curious, I’m surprised Hawaii isn’t up there in the % insured unemployment rate. It’s a state that is so dependent on tourism that it’s hurting the economy quite a bit, so is that because there isn’t nearly as many insured unemployment?

    it is literally insane how much the stock market could grow while so many people aren’t working. Where is the demand going to come from for those companies behind the stocks.

  36. Still not clear, if decades of doctored US employment figures make this event look worse than it is? In the corporate board rooms they are probably thinking about going fully automated right now. Thirty million times $1000 a month, is 30 billion which is about a third per month of the original QE. Fed does that much before breakfast.

  37. hikusar says:

    Have you considered discussing local gov already processing layoffs? many CA cities are heavily dependent on sales tax, occupancy tax for their annual budget.

    City of Santa Monica City Manager just stepped down because he see’s that layoffs will need to happen in all departments within the city and he didn’t want to be the one to have to do it. You can read more here https://www.planningreport.com/2020/04/19/rick-coles-resignation-santa-monica-city-manager-canary-coal-mine-cities

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