Another 6.6 million in jobless claims

“The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.”

Joseph Stalin to U.S. ambassador Averill Harriman

Once again, much higher than Wall Street economists estimated.

This puts the total number of people who have applied for unemployment benefits during the coronavirus shutdowns at just under 17 million. For perspective, before this coronavirus panic got going, there were 163 million people in the American workforce.

For all the naysayers saying “yeah, but you need to calculate the area under the curve” to compare it to previous recessions, we are already at an unemployment rate that was higher than the Great Recession. Jobless claims underestimate the true number of people out of work (especially with statewide systems crashing nonstop). We are likely at an unemployment rate last seen during the Great Depression.

Also, we are talking about companies that tried to hold on financially and couldn’t at this point, so a higher percentage of these are likely to be more permanent than mere furloughs suggest.

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