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What Is America Going To Look Like With Tens Of Millions Of Unemployed Workers?


April 3rd, 2020

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This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen a spike in unemployment like we are witnessing right now.  Last Thursday it was announced that more than 3.2 million Americans had filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the previous week, and many believe that the number that will be announced this Thursday will be even larger.

By the way, the previous all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.  So what is happening right now is absolutely nuts.  49 percent of U.S. companies anticipate conducting layoffs within the next 3 months, and the St. Louis Fed is projecting that the unemployment rate in this country will soon rise to 32 percent.  Before the coronavirus pandemic started shutting virtually everything down, approximately 158 million Americans were employed, and so we could soon have tens of millions of unemployed workers on our hands if the St. Louis Fed’s projection is accurate.

How are we possibly going to take care of them all?

To call this a “tsunami of unemployment” would be a massive understatement.  According to California Governor Gavin Newsom, more than 1.6 million residents of his state have filed for unemployment in recent weeks

It took the coronavirus pandemic less than a month to triple California’s unemployment rolls and plunge the state’s economy into a tailspin comparable to the Great Recession.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, in his daily update on the fight against COVID-19 on Tuesday, said “well over 1.6 million Californians” have filed for unemployment. A record 150,000 Californians filed claims Monday alone, he said.

Over on the east coast, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is claiming that there are times when “hundreds of thousands of people” are trying to access his state’s unemployment website simultaneously…

New Yorkers are struggling to file claims for unemployment benefits, as applications have inundated the state’s Department of Labor. At a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, acknowledged the state is having problems processing claims.

“I apologize for the pain—it must be infuriating to deal with,” he said. “The site is so deluged that it keeps crashing because you literally have hundreds of thousands of people at any time trying to get on the site.”

It is hard to imagine things “getting back to normal” in New York any time for the foreseeable future.  The number of cases in the state continues to explode, and this is starting to really affect even basic social services.  For example, more than 15 percent of all police officers in New York City “were out sick on Tuesday”

The novel coronavirus outbreak in New York City has taken a major toll on workers in health care, mass transit, and public safety, including the New York City Police Department.

The department reported on Tuesday that 1,048 uniformed members and 145 civilian employees have tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 5,600 officers (about 15.6% of its uniformed workforce) were out sick on Tuesday—more cops than serve in the entire Houston Police Department.

And the death toll is rising so rapidly in New York City that they are actually using a forklift to lift dead bodies into refrigerated trucks…

On Tuesday, a forklift was used to help lift dead bodies onto a refrigerated truck outside the Brooklyn Hospital Center. The COVID-19 death toll in the city is 1,139 and 47,439 confirmed cases and hospitals have been using bed sheets to wrap bodies because they no longer have body bags.

There is no way that America is going to “open for business again” as long as this virus continues to spread so rapidly.

The total death toll in the United States just crossed the 5,000 mark, and President Trump says that it could go as high as 240,000.  So it looks like we may have a long way to go before this pandemic is finally behind us.

Meanwhile, more Americans are losing their jobs with each passing day.  In fact, a brand new survey just discovered that 28 percent of Americans have already “lost wages or other personal income” during this crisis…

More than a quarter of Americans say they’ve already lost wages as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic broadens, according to a new Grinnell College poll released Wednesday.

Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed said they’d already “lost wages or other personal income.” Another 16 percent said they were laid off or furloughed from work, and an additional 28 percent said they lost what they considered a “substantial amount” from a retirement account.

Without a doubt, the number that we are going to get from the Labor Department on Thursday is going to be bad.

Could it be even worse than the number that we saw last week?  Apparently that is what quite a few of the “experts” are anticipating

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimate a Labor Department report Thursday morning will show 3.5 million Americans filed initial applications for unemployment insurance last week, up from the record 3.3 million who sought benefits the prior week.

Some economists expect a far bigger total. Nomura forecasts 4.1 million; Morgan Stanley, 4.5 million; and Bank of America, 5.5 million. Such first-time jobless claims represent the best measure of layoffs across the country.

And it appears that we could keep getting more bad numbers for many weeks to come as vast portions of the country remain shut down.

At this point, some of our biggest corporations are bracing for a very, very long pause in operations.  This week, we learned that Ford has decided to keep its North American factories closed indefinitely

With what are sure to be ugly March sales numbers looming, Ford has now decided it is cancelling plans to re-start production in the U.S. and Mexico over the next two weeks. 

Citing risks associated with the coronavirus, the automaker has said the the suspension is “indefinite” and has not set a timeline to bring its facilities back online, according to Bloomberg. The company is currently working with the UAW to establish new guidelines for safety procedures before re-opening.

Of course, someday those factories will come back to life, and someday the entire country will try to resume normal activities.

But when that happens, it is likely that we could see another new wave of coronavirus cases.  Just look at what is happening over in China.  For a while, they have been claiming to have the virus under control, but this week they had to put an entire county in lockdown mode

A Chinese county that was largely unscathed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus went into lockdown Wednesday, signaling fears of a possible second wave in the country where the virus originated, The South China Morning Post reports.

The county of Jia in Henan province, home to 600,000 people, is now in lockdown after infections reportedly spread at a local hospital. There were previously only 12 confirmed cases in Henan, despite it being situated just north of Hubei province, where China’s epicenter, Wuhan, is located. However, U.S. intelligence reportedly believes China under-reported the actual number of cases.

Officials all over the world are going to be balancing the need to protect life with the need to resume economic activity for a long time to come.

But even if every “shelter-in-place” order was immediately lifted all across America, a large portion of the population would still be deathly afraid of the coronavirus and economic activity would still be greatly depressed from previous levels.

Everyone needs to understand that the unsustainable debt-fueled prosperity that we were enjoying is not coming back, and our day of reckoning has finally arrived.

The “everything bubble” has finally burst, and Egon von Greyerz is warning that we are heading straight into “a collapse”…

I have for years warned about the enormous risks in the financial system that inevitably would lead to a collapse. As the bubble continued to grow for over ten years since the 2006-9 crisis, very few understood that the last crisis was just a rehearsal with none of the underlying problems resolved. By printing and lending $140 trillion since 2006, the problem and risks weren’t just kicked down the road but made exponentially greater.

So here we are in the spring of 2020 with debts, unfunded liabilities and derivatives of around $2.5 quadrillion. This is a sum that is impossible to fathom but if we say that it is almost 30x global GDP, it gives us an idea what the world and central banks will have to grapple with in the next few years.

All of the dominoes are going to be falling, and we are going to see financial chaos as we have never seen before.

We could have avoided this scenario if we had learned our lessons from the last financial crisis and had fundamentally rebuilt our financial system from the ground up using sound economic principles.

But instead, our authorities simply inflated all of the bubbles far larger than before, and now we will all have to live with the consequences.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations, I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

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Date: April 3rd, 2020
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10 Comments...

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  1. GETTING REAL says:

    mmmmm ?
    Was this the plan ?
    or
    Unplanned ?
    New World Order ?
    Thinning out the population ?
    Loins, Tigers, and Ghost ?
    Oh My !

    • TharSheBlows says:

      CoronaV19 is a US CIA BETA Test for Martial Law and turning America into a 3rd World Shthole like inner Mexico or Guatemala, bankrupting the citizens so they are too weak to resist the planned Tyranny. The Looting of the Treasury is a crime. Not one Government Official has the Authority to steal from the Treasury by printing phony money to give to their fascist partners to buy real assets with phony money. Oh give the masses just a one time $1200 and beat it. Round 2 payment will be on a Government issued Chip Card like a Debit card where the only place you can spend it is with the Fascist chosen big corporations licking Trumps behind. This is a theft crime and the crime is still in progress. Don’t blink. another trillion missing. Big oil get pallets of $100 bills. We get a phony check. Where is my share of the US Oil in the ground that we own as Americans under our soil? Where my cut from the Oil pumping theft?

  2. TharSheBlows says:

    All I can say is, as advice for those who failed to prepare years ago. “Save your Skinny Clothes, you will soon be needing them.” And you won’t need any toilet paper, as your food supply dwindles. Karma is a knocking at your door.

    Here at the BOL, I scored an entire trailer of Free Pallets and in the process of building a large rabbit hutch cage out of them. Gonna get them suckers breeding for extra protein source on the table this year and the next and the next. Get the rabbits first, easy to maintain, then then get the egg laying chickens who can scratch at the rabbit poop for the garden nutrients. Also working on my work garden to create great potting soil for garden plants.

    Right now every Prepper should be humping it to get all the rest of your future plans and project materials bought and secured. I also picked up all the hardware, hinges, hooks and 1/2 inch metal screening, or as the store calls it Hardware cloth. Good Luck All. ~~ WhoWuddaThunkIt

  3. Navy Vet says:

    Last week I had some business to take of at one of the banks I deal with. I had to MAKE AN APPOINTMENT to be allowed inside. The manager was waiting for me at the door, inside, at the appointed time. I still had to wait, outside.

    The manager told me that, per new bank policy, they are only allowing 2 non-staff people inside at any one time, due to potential virus contamination, and I had to wait for one of the people currently inside to exit.

    There are probably12-15 staff people at this branch. How do they expect to make any money if they only allow 2 people inside at a time?

    My take is that they are conveniently using the virus as an excuse to limit people’s access to cash, in the event of a bank run.
    The other thing that concerns me is greatly is the coming economic tsunami of bank failures due to non-payment of business loans and home mortgages.

    The .gov thinks they’re doing everyone a big favor by dispensing $1200.00 to everyone. $1200.00 won’t cover a payment on most mortgages.

    When the dindu’s suddenly realize that $1200.00 doesn’t cover their rent, never mind food or utilities, is when the fun begins.

  4. Cobb says:

    Gold, Silver, & Lead….
    Hold #1
    Trade #2
    Use #3 to keep #1 & #2 secure for your family…
    Sad Day.

  5. Mr_Yesterday says:

    If you believe in Liberty so strongly, perhaps you should tune into bash the fed friday on Ron Paul’s Liberty Report YTB channel.

    How on earth will we carry on, with this new form of the common cold, a severe flue that selectively is primarily only devastating to those whom did not take care of themselves in the first place or are already succumbing to the hands of time?

    Comparative statistics through history mean nothing. Unlike previous iterations of economic strife, so many of those now unemployed will not lose their careers or working paths. The demand for their services is still present, and will return in earnest once the tyranny subsides or is vanquished. Humans will not be so easily convinced to change everything, past, present, and future, when it comes to what they desire, how they behave, and where their hearts lead them.

    We’re still going to want entertainment, luxury, free time, stress relief, to breath the fresh air of freedom, liberty, and prosperity. The desire to return these industries into a better state of natural alignment with the human condition in this day and age will return, and return with haste it will.

    This ends when we demand it ends. Recognize the difference between an organic event, and a planned external influence. Learn to discern. Life as we know it has always been, and will always be, simply a model. A reactive depiction of the desire of the human heart based on the external influence and supply availability at that time in history.

    What’s in your wallet? Better yet, what’s in your heart?

  6. Frank Thoughts says:

    America will look like San Francisco. Lots of street people and “frei poopers” alongside tech dudes looking at their smart phones.

    Lots and lots of prostitution as this is a good survival job and with increasing family break ups, lots of single guys will need “servicing”.

    Blacks and Muslims will try to rise up, riot etc.but will hit a rising wall of surveillance tech that will digitally lock them down and compartmentalise them. As travel resumes they will find their criminal and danger risk profiles will stop them from moving around. Look to see every community have digital gates which will check people in and out. Just walking down the street will flag them up on people’s smart phones as high risk and they will not be able to do normal things like entering shops.

    Looking out five years, various groups will die out from hunger, disease, poverty and bad social behaviour, just as with black males murdering each other is the number one way to die.

  7. Steve says:

    Today Sat April 4, 2020: Get ready for a depression that will curl your ears. I guess people will break in a week. They will not pay rent or mortgage and buy food instead and pay utilities. Crime and riots will abound. Gangs already are beating people and stealing their groceries when they leave the grocery store. Flash mobs have already happened in grocery stores. Death from suicides may exceed virus deaths, but you wont hear that on the news media. I suspect 30 million out of work now and can not be counted because they can not register for unemployment compensation. Desperation and fear abounds. This is a Gov instituted crisis.

  8. Montana Guy says:

    The states (lower case) are voluntarily committing economic suicide like a mythical herd of lemmings. Big Brother can just sit back and enjoy… Who would have thunk?

  9. Frank Thoughts says:

    The West is going down because it adopted Zimbabwe, African-style economics and policies. It started with Obama and his “solutions’ to the 2008 crisis. Then Africans and Chinese were put in charge of all the international bodies, including the WHO.

    And what happens? US $3.4 trillion and counting economic collapse. A record in modern times. When you really want to take down the West, you gotta get a black dude to do it.

    Look for China to move quickly to grab territory and markets as the West battles the corona bio weapon.

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