68% Of Unemployed Workers In The U.S. “Are Eligible For Payments That Are Greater Than Their Lost Earnings”

Can anyone explain how we are going to motivate unemployed workers to go back to work when most of them can actually make more money camped on their sofas watching Netflix?  Over the past couple of months, 36.5 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and Congress understandably wanted to do something to address this unprecedented spike in unemployment.  But by giving all of these unemployed workers a repeating 600 dollar bonus on top of existing unemployment benefits, Congress has actually created a very powerful incentive for Americans to be unemployed and to stay unemployed for as long as the bonuses last.  According to a group of prominent economists at the University of Chicago, 68 percent of those that are currently unemployed can now bring home more money than when they were actually employed…

A new analysis by Peter GanongPascal Noel and Joseph Vavra, economists at the University of Chicago,1 uses government data from 2019 to estimate that 68 percent of unemployed workers who can receive benefits are eligible for payments that are greater than their lost earnings. They also found that the estimated median replacement rate — the share of a worker’s original weekly salary that is being replaced by unemployment benefits — is 134 percent, or more than one-third above their original wage.

Of course you don’t have to be bringing home 100 percent of your former income for there to be an incentive to stay unemployed.

For example, if you had a job that you really hated, you would almost certainly jump at the chance to stay home every day and still make 90 percent of what you formerly earned.

So yes, those that had very high paying jobs will be motivated to get back to work, but everyone else will be highly tempted to ride the gravy train for as long as it lasts.

And the less you made when you were actually working, the more intense that temptation will be.

Just consider what restaurant and hotel workers must be thinking about now.  According to CNBC, the average unemployed worker in that industry is now eligible to collect “182% of their previous wages”…

The average worker in this industry, which employs 14 million people, makes $13.45 an hour — the lowest compared with other industries.

These workers would benefit most under the unemployment system when compared to others — collecting 182% of their previous wages, according to a CNBC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics and Labor Department data.

Do you think that those workers are going to be eager to get back to their former jobs?

I don’t think so.

Of course the truth is that many of their jobs are never coming back.  According to the Atlantic, “hundreds of thousands of companies” have already collapsed during this economic downturn…

Small-business activity has plunged nationwide by nearly 50 percentHundreds of thousands of companies have already failed. Big retailers such as J.Crew and Neiman Marcus have filed for bankruptcy, while others, including Macy’s, are teetering. By some measures, scarcely one-third of Americans say they are working. Next month’s jobs report will likely show that, for the first time since World War II, a majority of Americans aren’t officially employed.

So the cold, hard reality of the matter is that there simply is not going to be enough jobs for everyone in the United States for the foreseeable future.

And moving forward, a lot more businesses are going to be failing.

Just recently, Facebook conducted a survey of “86,000 small and medium-sized business owners”, and the results of that survey were quite startling…

About a third of small businesses forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic say they won’t be able to reopen due to an inability to pay bills or rent, a Facebook survery has found.

More than half of the business owners surveyed by Facebook have also said they don’t expect to be able to rehire the same amount of workers that they employed prior to the pandemic.

More specifically, the survey discovered that just 45 percent of all small and medium-sized business owners plan to rehire the same number of employees that they previously had.

So that means that millions upon millions of jobs are gone for good.

And of course the environment of fear that COVID-19 has created is going to paralyze new hiring for a long time to come.  If you are an existing business and you are concerned that you may not be able to keep the employees that you already have, that is going to make you extremely hesitant to add anyone new.

The bottom line is that it is going to be exceedingly difficult to find jobs in the months ahead, and the long-term outlook for the newly unemployed is not good at all.

For the moment, those newly unemployed workers are being taken care of by the federal government, but the $600 bonuses are set to expire in July.

If we get to July and those benefits are not extended, we could have a massive national temper tantrum on our hands.

Of course there are many in Congress that are quite eager to extend those benefits, but that would also mean borrowing and spending billions upon billions more dollars that we do not have.

And what happens when an even bigger crisis than COVID-19 comes along?  We are just experiencing the early winds of “the perfect storm” that I portrayed in “The Beginning Of The End”, and most Americans are completely and utterly unprepared for what is coming.

So let’s not be mad at those that have lost their jobs just because they are getting a windfall for a few months.  Instead, let us hold our national leaders accountable for getting us into this mess in the first place.

For decades, our national leaders have been leading us down a road that leads to national oblivion, and now it appears that we are rapidly approaching the end of that road.

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 any way 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.

10 Numbers That Show The U.S. Has Fallen Into A Horrifying Economic Depression

The last recession was really, really bad, but it was never like this.  It is time for us to face reality, and that means admitting that the U.S. economy has plunged into a depression.  This is already the worst economic downturn that America has experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and we are right in the middle of the largest spike in unemployment in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin.  Of course it was fear of COVID-19 that burst our economic bubble, and fear of this virus is going to be with us for a very long time to come.  So we need to brace ourselves for an extended economic crisis, and at this point even Time Magazine is openly referring to this new downturn as an “economic depression”.  Needless to say, there will be a tremendous amount of debate about how deep it will eventually become, but everyone should be able to agree that our nation hasn’t seen anything like this since before World War II.

In order to prove my point, let me share the following 10 numbers with you…

#1 According to a study that was just released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, more than 100,000 U.S. businesses have already permanently shut down during this pandemic, and that represents millions of jobs that are never coming back.

#2 The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is now projecting that U.S. GDP will shrink by 42.8 percent during the second quarter…

A new GDP forecast from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for the three months through June estimates an unprecedented drop of 42.8 percent. The bank describes the data as a “nowcast” or real-time, compared with the official government report of GDP, which is dated. The first-quarter preliminary data, which showed a 4.8 percent dip, included a limited period of impact from COVID-19.

#3 On Friday we learned that U.S. retail sales were down 16.4 percent during the month of April, and that is a new all-time record.

#4 U.S. factory output was down 13.7 percent last month, and that was the worst number ever recorded for that category.

#5 U.S. industrial production fell 11.2 percent last month, and that represented the worst number in 101 years.

#6 On Thursday, we learned that the number of Americans that have filed initial claims for unemployment benefits during this pandemic has risen by another 2.9 million, and that brings the grand total for this entire crisis to 36.5 million.  To put that number in perspective, at the lowest point of the Great Depression of the 1930s only about 15 million Americans were unemployed.

#7 According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the real rate of unemployment in the U.S. is now 30.7 percent.

#8 According to a survey Fed officials just conducted, almost 40 percent of Americans with a household income of less than $40,000 a year say that they have lost a job during this crisis.

#9 One study has concluded that 42 percent of the job losses during this pandemic will end up being permanent.

#10 According to a professor of economics at Columbia University, the U.S. homeless population could rise by up to 45 percent by the end of this calendar year.

We have never seen economic numbers this horrifying, and more awful economic numbers are coming in the months ahead.

At this point, things are so bad that even Fed Chair Jerome Powell is openly admitting that he doesn’t really know how long this new economic downturn will last…

“This economy will recover…We’ll get through this. It may take a while. It may take a period of time. It could stretch through the end of next year,” Powell said during a rare televised interview that aired on “60 Minutes” Sunday night. “We really don’t know. We hope that it will be shorter than that, but no one really knows.”

In the months ahead, there are a few sectors that you will want to keep a particularly close eye on, and one of them is the commercial real estate market.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Fast forward to today, coronavirus outbreak, and the ensuing lockdown, has essentially frozen the commercial real estate market. Buildings that were once used for restaurants, offices, hotels, spas, and or anything else that is classified non-essential have seen soaring vacancies.

This is single handily sending the commercial property market into chaos. As vacancies soar, tremendous downward pressure is being put on almost every asset class tied to commercial real estate.

The latest TREPP remittance data compiled by Morgan Stanley showed a quarter of all commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) could be on the verge of default.

I am personally convinced that we are on the precipice of the greatest commercial real estate implosion in American history.

As the dominoes tumble, it is going to send wave after wave of devastation through the financial industry, and it is going to make the subprime mortgage meltdown of 2008 look like child’s play.

But at least bankruptcy lawyers will have plenty of work.  Last week we learned that J.C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and of course the bankruptcies that we have seen so far will just be the tip of the iceberg.

I think that politicians all over America are going to deeply regret overreacting to COVID-19, because nobody is going to be able to put the pieces back together now that our economic bubble has burst.

Sadly, very few people understood how shaky our debt-fueled economic “boom” was, and ultimately it didn’t take that much to push us into a new economic depression.

And now every additional crisis that comes along is just going to escalate our economic troubles.  This is going to be one very long nightmare, and there will be no waking up from it any time soon.

Even before COVID-19 came along, homelessness had become a massive problem in many of our major cities, and now tent cities are rapidly multiplying in size.

There is going to be so much economic pain in the months ahead, and it could have all been avoided if we had made much different choices as a nation.

But we didn’t, and so now we all get to pay the price.

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 any way 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.

The U.S. Is Caught In An Economic Death Spiral, And One Group Is Being Hit Particularly Hard…

Many have been warning for years that our economic bubble would eventually burst and that a collapse was inevitably coming, but the ferocity of this new economic crisis has caught just about everyone off guard.  And even though some states have been attempting to “reopen” their economies in recent days, the job loss tsunami just continues to roll on.  Prior to this year, the all-time record for the most new unemployment claims in a single week was 695,000.  That record was set all the way back in 1982, and it had survived all the way until 2020.  But now we have been absolutely dwarfing that number week after week.  On Thursday, we learned that another 2.9 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that brings the grand total for this pandemic to more than 36 million

New filings for unemployment claims totaled just shy of 3 million for the most recent reporting period, a number that while still high declined for the sixth straight week, according to Labor Department figures Thursday.

The total 2.981 million new claims for unemployment insurance filed last week brought the coronavirus crisis total to nearly 36.5 million, by far the biggest loss in U.S. history. The count announced last week count was revised up by 7,000 to 3.176 million, putting the weekly decline at 195,000 between the two most recent reports.

To put that in perspective, at the lowest point of the Great Depression only 15 million Americans were unemployed.

Of course our population is quite a bit larger today, and so it isn’t a straightforward comparison.

But what everyone can agree on is the fact that we have never seen a two month spike in unemployment like this in all of U.S. history.

And according to the Federal Reserve, low income workers are getting hit harder than anyone else…

The Federal Reserve Bank on Thursday reported just how unequally the coronavirus-induced economic downturn is hitting Americans.

On one hand, lower-income people are getting slammed. Nearly 40% of those with a household income below $40,000 reported a job loss in March, according to the Economic Well-Being of US Households report.

Sadly, this is what seems to happen every time that there is an economic downturn.

The powerless people on the bottom of the food chain get hurt the most, but the fat cats with political influence are able to get the big bailouts.

Millions of newly unemployed low income workers used to be employed by the restaurant industry, but that industry has been absolutely decimated by this crisis…

The National Restaurant Association says some $30 billion was lost by its members in March, and $50 billion in April.

In the last week alone, several restaurants have announced that they won’t re-open, including the buffet chain Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, Jen’s Grill in Chicago and Ristorant Franchino, which has been serving patrons in the San Francisco area for over 32 years.

Of course most restaurant closings will never even make the news because they are small independent operations without corporate backing.

In the days ahead, we are going to see a “restaurant apocalypse” like we have never seen before in American history.  If you can believe it, one industry expert just told Bloomberg that about one-fourth of all U.S. restaurants will be closing down permanently…

Your favorite restaurant, now closed or only accepting take out orders due to the coronavirus, may never reopen, according to a top exec with reservation service OpenTable.

Steve Hafner, CEO of Booking Holdings’ OpenTable and travel site Kayak, told Bloomberg that one out of every four restaurants won’t come back.

This is truly a great tragedy, and it is going to be so depressing to see so many buildings sitting empty in communities all across the nation.

And things will be much, much different for the restaurants that are able to stay open.  For example, just check out the changes that are happening at McDonald’s

When McDonald’s restaurants reopen their dining rooms, customers should expect stickers on the floor encouraging social distancing and the closure of self-serve beverage bars. Workers wearing masks might check in with a thumbs up, or kindly ask you to move away from others.

If that is what a trip to McDonald’s is going to be like, I don’t think that I will be visiting one for a long time to come.

What we really need is for the country to try to return to normal, but in some of the more liberal areas of the U.S. that is not going to happen for the foreseeable future.

So the U.S. economy will continue to be caught in this death spiral, and Fed Chair Jay Powell is warning that we could soon see a “wave of bankruptcies” from coast to coast…

Federal Reserve Chief Jay Powell warned Wednesday of a potential “wave of bankruptcies” that could cause lasting harm to the world’s largest economy, and said more fiscal support may be needed to prevent the devastation, despite the massive cost.

Powell, who has launched a host of key programs to support credit markets and provide funds directly to companies, said there are limits to how far the Fed can go.

In particular, keep a close eye on the commercial real estate industry.

In order to service their loans, owners of commercial property need to successfully collect rent from their tenants, and right now many of those tenants are not able to pay.

For example, just look at the numbers that one New York City commercial landlord is reporting

A major New York City commercial landlord collected just 73 percent of its April office rent from tenants, with an increasing number defaulting on payments amid growing uncertainty over whether corporate buildings will become a thing of the past.

Empire State Realty Trust, owner of the Empire State Building, collected only 73 percent of its office rents and 46 percent of its retail rents due in April.

Unless there is some sort of a bailout, we are going to see commercial real estate carnage on a scale that is far greater than anything we have ever seen before.

Of course just about every industry needs a bailout at this point, and not everyone is going to get one.

Fear of COVID-19 did not create the conditions for this new economic crisis, but it did finally burst the debt-fueled economic bubble that was keeping conditions relatively stable the past few years.

Now that our economy has begun to spiral out of control, nobody is going to be able to put the pieces back together again, and the truth is that this is just the very beginning of our problems.

So many of the things that I have been warning about are starting to happen, and without a doubt our economy will continue to fall apart in the months ahead, but that does not mean that your life is over.

Yes, the days ahead will be exceedingly challenging, but heroes are born when things are at their darkest.

God has a plan for you, and I encourage you to be open to that no matter how radical that plan may turn out to be.

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 any way 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.

States Are Now Wrestling With The Biggest Budget Crisis They Have Faced In All Of U.S. History

Most U.S. states are seeing tax revenues completely and utterly collapse during this COVID-19 pandemic, and some are already begging the federal government for bailout money.  Because if dramatic intervention does not happen, many states are going to have to start savagely slashing their expenditures, and that could mean unprecedented job losses on the state government level.  Typically, state government bureaucrats make above average salaries and those jobs often come with very nice benefit packages.  Once those jobs have been eliminated, they will not be easy to replace.

The tax revenue numbers that are starting to come in are nothing short of shocking.  Just consider these examples

Georgia is showing a decline of more than $100 million in sales tax, fuel tax and other tax revenue compared with the same period a year ago. Tennessee’s tax revenue is down more than $120 million. Pennsylvania’s is off by more $760 million, and Texas, which also has been hammered by the downturn in oil prices, has seen tax collections plummet by nearly $1 billion.

And New Jersey officials just reported that tax revenue in their state fell a whopping 60 percent during the month of April compared to a year ago.

These are unprecedented figures, and they have created gaping holes in state budgets all over the nation

Colorado faces a gap of nearly a quarter of the state’s general budget. The projected gap in California is more than a fifth of its spending plan and in Oklahoma, a sixth. The governor of Oregon is preparing to cut 17% of her budget. Michigan may have to slash up to a quarter of the money it sends to schools.

And what is truly frightening is that this new economic depression in only a couple of months old.

What will things look like once we get several more months down the road?

Already, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says that things are so bad in his state that a 61 billion dollar federal bailout is needed

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state needs $61 billion in federal support “or we will wind up aggravating the situation” by forcing cuts to local governments.

“You know who local governments are? That’s police, firefighters. You want me to cut hospitals? Hospitals are the nurses and the doctors who just got us through this and everyone celebrates as heroes. If you don’t fund the state, that’s who you’re cutting in terms of finances.”

Of course we have entered a time when literally everyone is going to be begging the federal government for money.

And as I discussed yesterday, all of the reckless borrowing and spending the federal government has been doing is going to absolutely wreck the value of our currency.

But most of our politicians are not really concerned about the value of the U.S. dollar at this point.  They just want to to rev up the cash machine and try to patch up our sinking ship.

Another thing to keep a close eye on is the fact that public pension plans all over the country are headed for major problems.  In fact, U.S. public pension plans just had the worst quarter ever recorded

Public pension plans lost a median 13.2% in the three months ended March 31, according to Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service data released Tuesday, slightly more than in the fourth quarter of 2008. March’s stock market plummet led to the biggest one-quarter drop in the 40 years the firm has been tracking.

“It was a horrible quarter for all public funds,” said Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund Investment Chief Angela Miller-May.

This was already an emerging crisis even before COVID-19 came along, and now a lot of these plans are going to be in very, very serious trouble.

This is one of the reasons why authorities are so desperate to prop up the stock market.  Pension plans have poured so much money into stocks in recent years, and that worked out just fine during the boom years.

But now that a new economic depression has arrived, it is going to turn out to be a catastrophic strategy.

Meanwhile, we continue to get more bad economic news with each passing day.  On Wednesday, we learned that Steak ‘n Shake will be permanently shutting down more than 50 locations

The restaurant Steak ‘n Shake has announced the decision to permanently close at least 51 of its restaurant locations nationwide. The move comes amid growing worry about the COVID-19 outbreak and its damage on the company’s financial future.

Biglari Holdings Inc. announced in its first quarter report that Steak ‘n Shake’s revenue has drop $59 million compared to the same time last year because of a decrease in demand.

For those keeping score at home, these are more jobs that are never, ever coming back.

But I certainly can’t blame Steak ‘n Shake for shutting down restaurants.  Social distancing restrictions will remain in effect in some areas of the country for many months to come, and fear of the coronavirus will keep many customers away long after all of the restrictions have finally been lifted.

Certain industries are just going to have to accept the fact that we have entered a new economic reality, and business models are going to have to fundamentally change.  For example, the International Air Transport Association is already projecting lower levels of air travel for at least the next five years

Demand for air travel will lag behind pre-coronavirus forecasts for at least five more years, according to the latest projections from the International Air Transport Association.

Global traffic, or the number of passengers carried times the distance flown, will still be about 10% below original estimates in 2025, Brian Pearce, the trade group’s chief economist, said in a media briefing Wednesday.

I was stunned when I first read that.

But this is how fast an economic death spiral can happen.  Fear of the coronavirus has paralyzed economic demand, and this is causing businesses all over America to fail.

As more businesses fail, that creates even more economic fear, and lenders get even tighter with their money.

Hopefully we can break out of this cycle of fear eventually, but of course this “perfect storm” that we are now facing is still only in the very early chapters.

At some point this coronavirus pandemic will fade, but there will be no running away from the consequences of decades of exceedingly foolish decisions.

Those decisions set the stage for the greatest economic crisis in our history, and now we are starting to watch that crisis play out right in front of our eyes on a daily basis.

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 any way 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.

A Taste Of What Is Coming – Food Prices Just Increased By The Most That We Have Seen Since 1974

Get ready to pay much more for groceries.  I have been warning that the flood of new money that the Federal Reserve and Congress have been pumping into the system would have very serious consequences, and I have also been warning that food prices would be shooting higher.  When things start getting really crazy, demand for food and other basic essentials goes way up, and meanwhile this pandemic has significantly disrupted production of certain products.  So even though most of the economy is currently still in a deflationary phase, food prices are beginning to spike.  In fact, the U.S. Labor Department says that we just witnessed the largest one month increase since February 1974

The Labor Department reported Tuesday that prices U.S. consumers paid for groceries jumped 2.6% in April, the largest one-month pop since February 1974. The spike in supermarket prices was broad based and impacted items from broccoli and ham to oatmeal and tuna.

The price of the meats, poultry, fish and eggs category rose 4.3%, fruits and vegetables climbed 1.5%, cereals and bakery products advanced 2.9%, and dairy goods gained 1.5%.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

Prior to this pandemic, Americans spent about 10 percent of their incomes on food.

As this new economic depression deepens, expect that number to eventually more than double.

We live at a time when global food supplies are becoming increasing stressed for a variety of reasons.  In wealthy countries this is going to force food prices aggressively higher, and in poor countries this is going to mean that a lot of people simply will not have enough to eat.

Already, we are seeing some crazy prices for certain items here in the United States.  King Arthur Flour is very popular these days, and because supplies have become so tight a single bag is now selling for more than 26 dollars on eBay…

Five-pound bags of King Arthur Flour have been so hard to score that they were selling this week on eBay for $26.49, five times the store price.

If you planned on stocking up on flour, hopefully you did it ahead of time.

Many out there are suggesting that the best thing that we can do during an economic environment such as this is to keep showering the American people with more government checks.

In fact, Democrats in Congress have just introduced a new bill that would borrow and spend an additional three trillion dollars that we don’t currently have

State and local governments would share nearly $1 trillion in federal aid to cover their coronavirus-related costs and families would get another round of direct payments under a stimulus bill House Democrats unveiled Tuesday.

The more than $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, also would expand unemployment assistance, boost food stamps, increase emergency grants to small businesses trying to weather the COVID-19 pandemic that has slammed the economy and upended daily life in the U.S.

Without a doubt, millions upon millions of Americans are deeply hurting right now.  Just about everyone has been thrilled to receive the first round of “stimulus checks”, and certainly very few people would complain if another round was sent out.

But if sending everyone a thousand dollars is good, wouldn’t sending everyone a million dollars be even better?

Needless to say, throwing giant piles of money around recklessly is not a good idea, because it destroys the value of our currency.

Venezuela tried that, and at this point almost everyone in the country is a millionaire

What if I told you that in the socialist paradise of Venezuela, everyone’s a millionaire?

The Bolivarian Revolution has raised the minimum wage over 50 times throughout the past 20 years. As of May 2020, it’s been set at 400,000 bolivars, plus a 400,000 socialist food ticket bonus, bringing it to an astounding total of 800,000 bolivars per month.

But even though there are so many “millionaires” running around, almost everyone in Venezuela is living in deep poverty because the money has become virtually worthless.

Do we really want to become just like Venezuela?

Because that is the path that we are currently on.

Every time a new dollar is created, every existing dollar that you currently hold declines in value.

And every time a new dollar is created, the value of your paycheck goes down if your employer doesn’t give you a raise to match the increase in the money supply.

But the mainstream media continues to be enamored by the Federal Reserve’s ability to “solve our problems” by creating trillions of dollars out of thin air.  Just consider the following quote from a recent USA Today article

It works like magic. With a few strokes on a computer, the Federal Reserve can create dollars out of nothing, virtually “printing” money and injecting it into the commercial banking system, much like an electronic deposit. By the end of the year, the Fed is projected to have purchased $3.5 trillion in government securities with these newly created dollars, one of many tools it is using to help prop up the ailing economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Oxford Economics.

“It works like magic”?

You can probably imagine how I responded when I first read that.

They make it sound like some sort of Disney production, but in reality what the Federal Reserve is doing is slowly but surely turning us into the Weimar Republic.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media will continue to cheer the Fed on as they steadily kill the U.S. dollar, but none of us will be cheering when a loaf of bread costs 5 dollars and a gallon of milk costs 10 dollars.

A torrent of newly created money is not going to fix our economy.  What we really need is for the American people to be allowed to go back to work, but quite a few states are indicating that some restrictions may not be lifted until August or later.

And even if all of the restrictions were lifted immediately, fear of COVID-19 is going to keep many Americans from resuming normal activities for the foreseeable future

Most Americans say they would be uncomfortable returning to their regular routines today, even as they are increasingly leaving their homes to visit others, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

The 58% who say they are not comfortable returning to their routines today is similar to the 60% who said last month that they would be uncomfortable doing so if guidelines on social distancing expired on April 30. On the other side, 41% say they would be comfortable resuming their regular routines now.

What all of this means is that we are going to be dealing with an economic depression for a long time to come, and every new crisis that erupts during this period of time is just going to intensify our problems.

For a long time, I warned that an economic collapse was coming, but I don’t have to do that anymore because the economic collapse is here.

Now the value of our currency is being absolutely destroyed by our authorities as they respond to this economic collapse, and that is going to have very serious implications for our future.

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 any way 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.

Economic Catastrophe: Millions Upon Millions Of Jobs That Have Been Lost Are Never Coming Back

Do you personally know people that have lost jobs in 2020?  I do, and I am not sure what to tell them.  As is the case all over the U.S. right now, there is hope that some of the jobs will still be there when the lockdowns end, but in other cases it looks like the jobs are gone for good.  And since virtually nobody is hiring right now, finding new jobs is certainly not going to be easy, and there will be millions of others competing for the few jobs that open up.  Of course there will be some that will decide that being a government “contact tracer” is better than not being able to pay the bills, and the mainstream media is aggressively promoting those jobs right now.  But what most unemployed workers really want is to go back to their old jobs, but unfortunately many of them will never be able to do so.

According to a new study that was just released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a whopping 42 percent of the jobs that have been lost during this crisis are likely to have been lost permanently…

Many of the coronavirus pandemic layoffs will become permanent job losses, according to a new study with alarming implications for the future of the economy.

Forty-two percent of workers experiencing recent layoffs will suffer permanent job losses, according to a paper circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Wow.

So let’s take a moment and do a little math.

Over the past 7 weeks, 33.5 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits.

42 percent of 33.5 million is just over 14 million, and that represents almost 10 percent of all the jobs in the entire economy before this pandemic began.

Of course more Americans continue to lose jobs with each passing week.

For example, last week thousands of Uber employees were abruptly terminated during a three minute Zoom call

Thousands of Uber employees learned that they were being laid off in a three-minute Zoom call last week.

The ride-sharing company informed 3,500 people who worked in customer service and recruitment around the country that it would be their last day working for Uber on the live call.

Could you imagine being one of those employees?

There is no loyalty in corporate America today.  When the time comes, they will ruthlessly cut ties with even their most hard working employees without even a moment of hesitation.

Uber’s Ruffin Chaveleau was given the task of letting these workers go, and there was no mincing of words

Chevaleau told staff: ‘Our rides business is down by more than half. There is not enough work for many frontline customer support employees. [As a result] we are eliminating 3,500 frontline customer support roles.

‘Your role is impacted and today will be your last working day with Uber. You will remain on payroll until the date noted in your severance package.’

Do you think those jobs are coming back?

Of course not.

They are gone for good, and the company as a whole is going to have a very tough time surviving in this new economic environment.

The economic carnage that we are witnessing is truly unprecedented, and some parts of the country are being hit harder than others.  I have some good friends in Hawaii, and needless to say this pandemic has caused tourism to Hawaii to absolutely implode.

As the tourist industry has collapsed, the unemployment rate in the state has gone from 3 percent to 34 percent

Unemployment in Hawaii has skyrocketed from three percent to 34 percent as tourism vanishes from the island – and it could get worse as lockdown measures to protect against coronavirus continue.

Since March the number of people flying into Hawaii has fallen dramatically from 30,000-a-day to just 756.

Eventually some of those jobs may start coming back as the pandemic fades.

But then again, they might not.

And just about everyone agrees that the U.S. economy is going to continue to bleed jobs.

In fact, at this point even U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is admitting that the numbers “are probably going to get worse”

The staggering U.S. unemployment rate reported by the government on Friday amid coronavirus lockdowns may get even worse, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday.

“The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better,” Mnuchin told the Fox News Sunday program.

The good news is that millions of workers that have been temporarily laid off should start going back to work in the months ahead as the lockdowns are ended.

But the bad news is that there are millions of newly unemployed workers that have lost their jobs permanently and won’t be able to get new ones.

As a result, the ranks of the poor will greatly surge, and many more people will end up in the streets.

Already, it is being reported that the number of homeless tents in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District has grown by 300 percent…

The streets of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District have experienced a 300 percent increase in the number of homeless tents since the coronavirus outbreak began, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the community and a law school.

Residents, businesses and the University of California Hastings College of Law are suing to demand the city clean up drug needles and human waste which have littered the streets.

I have written about homelessness a lot over the years, and before this pandemic started there were more than half a million Americans that were homeless.

As this new economic depression drags on, that number is likely to multiply.

The economic crisis that I have been warning about is now here, and the American people are going to be looking to our politicians to “fix things”.

But as Egon von Greyerz has noted, there isn’t going to be any solution to this crisis…

This is what is so sad with the current economic crisis – there is no solution. Nobody should believe that it is the Coronavirus that has caused this catastrophe for the world. CV was the catalyst but the underlying problems have been there for a long time. The Great Financial Crisis in 2006-9 was temporarily patched up with trillions of dollars of money printing but it was never solved. The Great Financial Crisis was only a rehearsal and now the world is facing the inevitable collapse of the financial system.

As usual, he is right on target.

All of the economic dominoes are starting to tumble, and fear of this virus is going to be with us for a very long time to come.

Those that are still hoping for a “V-shaped recovery”, a “U-shaped recovery” or any sort of a major recovery at all are going to be deeply disappointed.

The beginning of the end has arrived for the U.S. economy, and we are all going to be absolutely horrified by the things that take place in the months ahead.

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 any way 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.

It Is Much Worse Than You Are Being Told

For a long time I warned that our economic bubble would burst and that we would plunge into a nightmarish economic collapse.  Now it has happened, and it turns out that fear of COVID-19 was the “black swan event” that triggered the collapse.  The ironic thing is that COVID-19 is not even close to the worst thing that is going to happen to us.  But it was more than enough to topple our incredibly fragile economic system, and now tens of millions of Americans are deeply suffering.  On Friday, the April jobs report was released, and it was the worst jobs report in U.S. history by a very, very wide margin.  According to the official numbers, 20.5 million Americans lost their jobs during the month, and the unemployment rate shot up to 14.7 percent.  During the last recession, the unemployment rate peaked at about 10 percent, and we have already left that number in the dust.  The figures that we are seeing now are truly, truly horrifying, and what is even more frightening is that they aren’t even that accurate.

But don’t take my word for it.

On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department publicly admitted that the true unemployment rate in April was closer to 20 percent

Millions of U.S. residents were counted as employed in April despite having no job, suggesting April’s true unemployment rate was closer to 20%, much higher than the official 14.7% reported, the Labor Department said Friday.

The jobless rate should have included people on temporary unpaid leave, furloughed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the government said.

I applaud the Labor Department for trying to be honest.  In the report, they openly admitted that an “additional 7.5 million workers” should have been classified as unemployed

But responses to the survey by which the data was collected show 11.5 million people were categorized as employed but absent from work because of vacation, parental leave or other reasons, but including 8.1 million absent for “unspecified” reasons, a group that usually numbers about 620,000.

“One assumption might be that these additional 7.5 million workers …should have been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff,” a note attached to the government’s jobs report Friday said.

If those workers had been correctly classified, the official unemployment rate would have been about 19.5 percent, and that would have put us solidly in Great Depression territory.

But others have looked at the numbers and calculated that the true rate of unemployment should be even higher than that.

For example, Standard Chartered has calculated that the true rate of unemployment could be as high as 27.5 percent

While it is true that what the BLS reported that the April unemployment rate (UR) was less than expected (14.7% versus consensus of 16.0%) and the drop in payroll employment of 20.5 million was also less than the 22.0 million expected, Standard Chartered bank has calculated that adjustments to the headline unemployment rate push the effective number of unemployed to 42 million and the effective UR rate to 25.5%, higher even than the U-6 underemployment rate of 22.8%. Worse, if one treats underemployed in line with the U-6 methodology, the true April unemployment number would rise to an mindblowing 27.5%.

So how did Standard Chartered arrive at those numbers?  The following is how Zero Hedge explained it…

How does one get these numbers? As the bank’s chief FX strategist Steve Englander explains, start with the 23.1 million unemployed as published by BLS. To this add 8.1mn people who have dropped out of the labor force since February (previously the labor force had been growing steadily, so these are likely unemployed).

Add back 7.5MM workers classified as ‘employed but not at work for other reasons’ – BLS states that these workers are likely misclassified as employed, when they are in fact unemployed. Involuntary part-time work for economic reasons has gone up by 6.6MM and we treat these as half-unemployed (i.e., a contribution of 3.3MM).

This totals almost 42 Million effectively unemployed.

And Standard Chartered is not the only one that has come up with such a high figure.

In fact, John Williams of shadowstats.com says that if honest numbers were being used that the U.S. unemployment rate would now be an eye-popping 35.4 percent.

Wow.

Of course everyone admits that things are really, really bad and that the numbers for next month are likely to be even worse.

If you can believe it, even White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett is admitting that the official unemployment rate is likely to surge above 20 percent in “May or June”

White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett believes the unemployment rate could rise above 20% and the worst job losses would come in “May or June” because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

When asked Sunday what the “bottom” of the country’s unemployment pain would be, Hassett, who advises the Trump administration on economic policy and is the former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, told CBS’s “Face the Nation,” “to get unemployment rates like the ones that we’re about to see … which I think will climb up toward 20% by next month, you have to really go back to the Great Depression to see that.”

And even once this pandemic fades, many of those jobs won’t be coming back.

Initially, many employers had anticipated that they would be bringing all of their employees back following a short, severe crisis.  But at this point reality is beginning to set in for many of them.

For example, a restaurant owner in Kentucky named Britney Ruby Miller has had to lower her expectations as this pandemic has dragged on…

In late March, Britney Ruby Miller, co-owner of a small chain of steakhouse restaurants, confidently proclaimed that once the viral outbreak had subsided, her company planned to recall all its laid-off workers.

Now? Miller would be thrilled to restore, by year’s end, three-quarters of the roughly 600 workers her company had to let go.

Yes, the state of Kentucky is starting to “reopen for business”, but for now her restaurants will “be limited to 33% of capacity” and there will be all sorts of other new expenses that Miller will be forced to deal with…

Yet business won’t be returning to what it was before. In Kentucky, the restaurants will be limited to 33% of capacity. They are putting six feet between tables in all their restaurants, thereby limiting seating. Miller estimates that the company’s revenue will plunge by half to three-quarters this year.

And expenses are rising because the company must buy face masks and other equipment for the workers it does recall and restock its food, drink, and equipment supplies.

There are very, very few restaurants that can be profitable under such circumstances.

Unless the state of Kentucky lifts those ridiculous restrictions, Miller may soon lose all of her restaurants and all of her employees may soon be permanently out of jobs.

Of course more layoff announcements just keep rolling in from all over America with each passing day.  The following examples come from the Wall Street Journal

This past week, General Electric Co., Uber Technologies Inc. UBER 6.01% and Airbnb Inc. said they would lay off thousands of workers. MGM Resorts International MGM 4.42% warned that some of the 63,000 employees it has furloughed may be let go permanently starting in August. Aerospace supplier Raytheon Technologies Corp., RTX 2.91%  job-listings site Glassdoor and United Airlines Holdings Inc. UAL 11.74% also said in the past week that they had reduced jobs or planned to do so.

This is what an economic depression looks like, and it is going to be so incredibly painful.

And it is critical to understand that what we have experienced so far is just a warm-up act for the next chapters.

If you remember how bitter the last recession was, that should motivate you to take action to prepare for what is ahead, because this economic downturn is already even worse.

Yes, the months in front of us will be exceptionally challenging, but you can get through this.  Things may look really bleak, but for now you just need to keep hanging in there.

There will be life on the other side, but your future may end up looking far different than you originally anticipated.

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 any way 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.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!