The Economic Depression Of 2020 Is Becoming An Endless Nightmare For Millions Of Americans

You may have noticed that a lot of people get offended by what I write.  It is not something that I am purposely setting out to do, and I actually endeavor to get along with everyone as much as I can.  But it is undeniable that my articles about our ongoing economic collapse directly contradict a lot of the narratives that are constantly being pushed by the mainstream media and many of our political, business and religious leaders.  There are so many people out there that want to believe that the future is going to be exceedingly bright, and even though 2020 has been a horrific economic catastrophe so far, there are a lot of optimists that believe that it is just a temporary blip on the road to tremendous prosperity.

It would actually be wonderful if they were right.

But they aren’t.

At this point, everyone should be able to clearly see that we have entered a new economic depression.  And I wish that I could tell you that a “recovery” was right around the corner, but I can’t.

On Thursday, we got yet another sign that this downturn is here for the long haul.  According to the Labor Department, approximately 1.2 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

Four months after the COVID-19 pandemic largely shut down the economy and left millions of Americans out of work, employers continue to lay off workers at a historic pace.

About 1.2 million people last week filed initial applications for unemployment insurance – a rough measure of layoffs – the Labor Department said Thursday, down substantially from 1.4 million the previous week and the lowest level since March.

Initially, I thought that this was good news.

1.2 million is still a catastrophic number, but at least it appeared to be an improvement over last week’s level of 1.4 million.

Unfortunately, there is more to the story.

As Wolf Richter has pointed out, when you look at the unadjusted numbers and you include all state and federal programs, the number of continuing unemployment claims increased by a whopping 1.3 million last week…

The total number of people who continued to claim unemployment insurance under all state and federal unemployment programs jumped by 1.3 million from the prior week to 32.12 million (not seasonally adjusted), the Department of Labor reported this morning. It was the second highest ever.

That would seem to indicate that unemployment is dramatically surging, and that is really bad news for an economy that is already deeply suffering.

Overall, more than 55 million Americans have now filed initial claims for unemployment benefits over the past 20 weeks.  That is a number that should be almost theoretically impossible, but this is actually happening.

Prior to this year, the all-time record for new unemployment claims in a single week was just 695,000, and now we have been above a million for 20 consecutive weeks.

Up until recently, a weekly $600 unemployment supplement from the federal government had been helping tens of millions of unemployed Americans pay their bills, but now that supplement has expired and Congress has not yet agreed to another one.

As a result, the economic suffering of countless American families just got a whole lot deeper

An unemployed makeup artist with two toddlers and a disabled husband needs help with food and rent. A hotel manager says his unemployment has deepened his anxiety and kept him awake at night. A dental hygienist, pregnant with her second child, is struggling to afford diapers and formula.

Around the country, across industries and occupations, millions of Americans thrown out of work because of the coronavirus are straining to afford the basics now that an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits has expired.

Over the past couple of months, I have been hearing from a lot of people that believe that all of those unemployed workers should just get off their couches and go get new jobs.

I wish that it was that easy.  Good jobs are becoming increasingly scarce, and the competition for those jobs is only going to get more fierce because a “second wave of layoffs” has now begun.  The following comes from Fox Business

A second wave of layoffs is hitting American workers during a surge in coronavirus cases nationwide, and a Congressional stalemate over stimulus relief, according to a new survey by Cornell University and RIWI.

The researchers conducted the survey between July 23 and Aug. 1, and found that 31% of workers who had been placed back on payrolls after initially being laid off have now been laid off for a second time. Additionally, 26% of rehired workers say they’ve been told that they may be laid off again.

I know that I included that quote in yesterday’s article, but I wanted to share it again because it is so important for people to understand what is really going on out there.

Millions of jobs that were lost in the first wave of layoffs are never coming back, and now millions of jobs that actually came back are being lost again.

In other words, instead of witnessing a “recovery” we are witnessing an “unraveling”.

I know that a lot of people don’t like when I talk like this.

But I am not here to make you feel good.  I am here to tell you the truth.

We are in the midst of an economic nightmare, and even Bloomberg is admitting that conditions in the U.S. are becoming a lot more miserable

The US is projected to undergo the biggest increase in economic misery across 60 countries as the nation grapples with heightened unemployment and fresh coronavirus hotspots.

Bloomberg’s Misery Index, which ranks major economies by inflation and unemployment expectations, shows the country sinking to rank 25 from rank 50 in 2020. Venezuela, Argentina, and South Africa held their spots as the world’s most miserable economies.

And every day more businesses are shutting down, more workers are being laid off and more dreams are being shattered.

The consequences of literally decades of incredibly foolish decisions are catching up with our nation, and this economic depression will ultimately get a whole lot worse.

So instead of sticking your head in the sand and hanging on to the delusion that everything is going to be just fine somehow, I would very much encourage you to work very hard to get prepared for the nightmarish years that are ahead of us.

***It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on 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 always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  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.  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 as many people as we possibly can.

Food Prices Rise To Dangerous Levels As “A Second Wave Of Layoffs” Hits The U.S. Economy

You may have noticed that food prices have started to go up very aggressively.  I repeatedly warned my readers that this is precisely what would happen, and more price increases are on the way.  Fear of COVID-19 has sparked a tremendous amount of extra demand as Americans have feverishly stocked up their pantries, and at the same time the virus has made it very difficult for the major food companies to keep up.  Over the past several months we have seen a large number of food production facilities close down temporarily, food supply chains have been thrown into a state of chaos, and grocery stores have found it increasingly difficult to keep their shelves full.  Many years ago I remember sitting in an Econ 101 class as a very young college student, and one of the things that I learned was that prices are going to rise when supply goes down and demand goes up.  So it was inevitable that grocery store prices would become more painful, and the latest numbers that have been released by the BEA are definitely quite alarming

According to data released last week by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, almost all kinds of food have seen an increase in its price since February. Beef and veal prices are up a staggering 20.2% since before the pandemic, while other staples like eggs (10.4%), poultry (8.6%) and pork (8.5%) have also seen significant increases.

If prices keep going up like this, a lot of American families are going to have to start cutting beef out of their diets simply because they cannot afford it anymore.

And of course these price increases are coming at a really bad time, because we are in the midst of a historic economic downturn.  When an Oregon woman named Bella Flores recently took her monthly trip to the grocery store, she was shocked by how much prices have gone up

Medford resident Bella Flores says she felt the shock when she recently went to the store to pick up her monthly items.

“It kept going up, $50 and then $69, I’m like oh crap man it’s a lot,” she said.

Actually, if I could get out of the grocery store with a bill of only 69 dollars I would be jumping for joy.

These days, it seems like you can’t even get a full cart of groceries for under 200 dollars where I live.

Sadly, more price increases are on the way.  Demand is going to remain high, and many food companies will continue to operate at reduced levels.  For example, just consider what the CEO of Tyson Foods recently had to say

During a recent call with analysts discussing third-quarter financial results, Tyson (TSN) CEO Noel White said that some of the company’s facilities “continue to operate at decreased production levels.”

With food prices already at such elevated levels, the Federal Reserve has decided that now is a perfect time to jack up inflation even more.  The following comes from a CNBC article entitled “The Fed is expected to make a major commitment to ramping up inflation soon”

In the next few months, the Federal Reserve will be solidifying a policy outline that would commit it to low rates for years as it pursues an agenda of higher inflation and a return to the full employment picture that vanished as the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Recent statements from Fed officials and analysis from market veterans and economists point to a move to “average inflation” targeting in which inflation above the central bank’s usual 2% target would be tolerated and even desired.

Isn’t that wonderful?

You can almost always count on the Federal Reserve to do the wrong thing.

Meanwhile, Fox Business is reporting that a “second wave of layoffs” has now hit the economy…

A second wave of layoffs is hitting American workers during a surge in coronavirus cases nationwide, and a Congressional stalemate over stimulus relief, according to a new survey by Cornell University and RIWI.

The researchers conducted the survey between July 23 and Aug. 1, and found that 31% of workers who had been placed back on payrolls after initially being laid off have now been laid off for a second time. Additionally, 26% of rehired workers say they’ve been told that they may be laid off again.

Those numbers are absolutely staggering.

We already knew that millions upon millions of the jobs that were originally lost are never coming back, and now we are learning that millions of the jobs that were actually regained are being lost again.

So what this means is that at the exact same time that food prices are skyrocketing, countless Americans find themselves out of work and no longer have paychecks coming in.

What a nightmare.

And this may help to explain why the U.S. Census Bureau is finding that so many Americans are missing meals right now

This week the US Census Bureau published results of a survey in which nearly 30 million out of 249 million respondents said they did not have enough to eat at some point in the week before July 21. It was the highest number of people reporting insufficient food since the Census started tracking that information in early May.

During the first half of this year we witnessed lines at food banks that were up to two miles long, and we are likely to see similar scenes throughout the rest of 2020.

But the good news is that the U.S. is still in better shape than much of the rest of the world.  As I have detailed previously, giant armies of locusts have been devastating crops in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and now it is being reported that they have decided to invade Russia…

Locust swarms have invaded Russia’s southern regions causing colossal damage to the local agriculture.

According to regional authorities, the damage is estimated at over 13 million US dollars.

A state of emergency has been declared in seven parts of the republic of Kalmykia, according to the Emergency Ministry.

Meanwhile, “nearly one-third of China has been impacted by severe flooding”, and that is having a dramatic affect on crop production over there.

Even during the best of times, we struggle to feed everyone on the entire planet, and here in 2020 global food production has been hit by a whole host of major problems.

I fully expect that global food supplies will increasingly become tighter, and that has very serious implications for the years ahead of us.

Yes, food prices are already very high, but now is the time to stock up because they are only going to go higher.

Unfortunately, there are millions upon millions of Americans that can’t afford to stock up because they have already lost their jobs and no longer have any income coming in.

***It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on 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 always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  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.  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 as many people as we possibly can.

When It Comes To Economic Suffering, Some Parts Of The U.S. Are Feeling It Far More Than Others

2020 has been a very tough year for the U.S. as a whole, but some portions of the country have been hit much harder than others.  For example, if you live in a rural area that hasn’t seen any civil unrest and that hasn’t been hit very hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the way that you are living your life now may seem nearly unchanged from the way you were living your life in 2019.  But if you live in an urban area that has experienced endless protests and rioting and that has seen COVID-19 sweep through local neighborhoods like wildfire, your life in 2020 may look radically different from the way it looked in 2019.  Unfortunately, conditions in our largest cities are not likely to improve dramatically any time soon.

But many people that live in rural communities are feeling pretty good about things right now.  Even though more than 52 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the last 18 weeks, the official unemployment rate in many rural counties is still in the single digits.

I know that may be difficult to believe, but that is what the numbers tell us.

Sadly, in many of our largest cities it is a completely different story.  New York City was one of the early epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and many of us will never forget watching video footage of the looting that took place in the heart of Manhattan earlier this year.  As a result of all of this chaos, the unemployment rate in the state as a whole is nearly twice the national average

New York’s unemployment rate rose to 20.4% last month, according to state-level data issued Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that detailed figures for some large metro areas. That’s up from 18.3% in May and 15% in April.

We see a very similar story when we look at the city of Los Angeles.

Thanks to COVID-19 and endless civil unrest, the official unemployment rate in the city is hovering near 20 percent

Los Angeles, the second-largest U.S. city, has seen a similar level of joblessness.

Its unemployment rate recovered slightly in June but remains startlingly high — at 19.5%, versus 20.6% in May, according to data published Friday by California’s Employment Development Department.

Unfortunately, it appears that the COVID-19 pandemic and the violence in our major cities are both going to be with us for the foreseeable future.

Some people think that the civil unrest will disappear if Joe Biden wins in November, but I do not believe that is the case.  Nearly all of the major cities where the violence is happening are controlled by radical Democrats, and those radical Democrats have been completely unable to control the riots.  To the protesters, Republicans and Democrats are both two sides of the same coin and are both responsible for the injustices in our society, and they are not going to give up on their goals just because a moderate Democrat like Joe Biden wins the election.

At this point, millions upon millions of Americans are sticking closer to home these days because of COVID-19 and all the unrest, and this has been particularly devastating for the leisure and hospitality industries

The unemployment rate in the leisure and hospitality industries, including restaurants, soared from 5.7% in February to 39.3% in April, and in June was still at an unprecedented 28.9%. By comparison, the overall unemployment rate is 11.1%, and no other industry comes close to restaurants’ level.

The restaurant industry employed nearly 9.2 million people in June, almost 3 million more than in April but still 25% below where it was in February. Anecdotally, though, restaurant workers—even those who’ve spent decades in the industry—say they’re looking to get out. The line of work that had been stable, geographically flexible, reliable and largely safe for generations is no more, they say.

As I discussed the other day, we have already lost thousands upon thousands of small and independent restaurants, and this “restaurant apocalypse” is only going to get worse with each passing month.

Moving forward, some cities may never be the same again.  In Las Vegas, the official unemployment rate recently hit 29 percent, and everyone agrees that tourism will never recover until the pandemic ends.

If this pandemic stretches on for several years, many of those unemployed workers will be forced to abandon the city entirely in order to find work elsewhere.

Sadly, competition for the few good jobs that are available will become increasingly fierce, and this will result in millions of Americans falling out of the middle class.

And we are starting to see some numbers that indicate that this process is already moving along very quickly.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “24 million Americans say they have little to no chance of being able to pay next month’s rent”.

Just think about that.

We never saw anything like this during the last recession, and the Census Bureau says that things are particular dire for Black and Hispanic renters

This month, nearly 28% of Black renters say they haven’t paid last month’s rent, and about 46% say they have slight or no confidence they’ll be able to pay next month’s rent, according to figures from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. Hispanic renters face similar economic strain: 22% say they missed last month’s rent and 46% fear they won’t make rent next month.

Those numbers are simply eye-popping.  As people increasingly get behind on their bills, the cries for more direct government assistance will become deafening, and it appears that Republicans and Democrats in Congress both want to pass yet another stimulus bill.

Of course that will mean borrowing and spending more gigantic piles of money that we do not currently have, but at this point most Americans do not seem to care that we are literally completely destroying our financial future.

For such a long time, I warned that the next economic downturn would be worse than the last recession, and that has turned out to be precisely correct.

And what we are experiencing right now will pale in comparison to what is eventually coming.

But for most people, the only thing that seems to matter is what is happening here and now.

And at this moment we are seeing tremendous economic suffering in major cities all over the nation, and in an election year very few of our politicians want to be the “bad guy” that says that we can’t hand out “free money” to everyone.

So our currency will continue to be rapidly devalued, our debt levels will continue to explode, and we shall get to see where this relentless march toward socialism takes us.

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 as many people as we possibly can.

The Numbers Tell Us That The ‘Economic Recovery’ Is Dead And Businesses Are Failing At A Staggering Pace

Even though economic conditions were absolutely awful, during the month of June the mainstream media kept insisting that the U.S. economy was “recovering” and the stock market kept surging on every hint of good news.  But now the “economic recovery” narrative is completely dead, because the numbers clearly show that the U.S. economy is rapidly moving in the wrong direction.  On Thursday, the Labor Department announced that another 1.416 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week.  Prior to this year, the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000, and so we are talking about a level of unemployment that is absolutely catastrophic.  But what is really alarming many analysts is that the number for last week was quite a bit higher than the number for the week before.  Many states are rolling out new restrictions as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to surge, and this is having a huge impact on economic activity.  For months I have been warning that fear of COVID-19 would prevent economic activity from returning to normal levels for the foreseeable future, and that is precisely what has happened.

Overall, more than 52 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 18 weeks, and that makes this the biggest spike in unemployment in U.S. history by a very wide margin.

In fact, this dwarfs all previous spikes by so much that the others are not even worth mentioning.

Of course it isn’t just the employment numbers that are depressingly bad.  According to Jefferies, in late June 19 percent of all U.S. small businesses were closed, but now that number has risen to 24.5 percent

As of Sunday, 24.5% of small businesses in the United States were closed, according to Jefferies. That is worse than late June, when only 19% were closed. Jefferies pointed to “particular weakness in COVID hot spots” and noted that small business employment had dropped to levels unseen since the end of May.

Just think about that number for a minute.

Nearly a quarter of all small businesses in the entire country are closed.

And the really bad news is that many of them will never end up reopening.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I received a lot of criticism for stating that many of the small businesses that were shutting down at that time would never open again, but over the long-term the numbers have shown that I was correct.

In fact, Yelp says that a whopping 60 percent of the restaurants that were initially listed as “temporarily closed” on their site are now classified as permanently closed…

It’s tough out there for restaurants and other small businesses.

Yelp’s Economic Average report out Wednesday shows exactly how tough: 60 percent of the 26,160 temporarily closed restaurants on the business review site as of July are now permanently shut. Temporary closures are dropping, and permanent shutdowns are increasing.

Fear of COVID-19 is going to cause a large portion of the population to continue to avoid restaurants for as long as this pandemic persists, and it is becoming clear that it is likely to persist for a long time to come.

We are going to lose so many small and independent places to eat.  Many of the big corporate chains that have very deep pockets will survive, at least for a while, but there is simply no replacing what small and independent restaurants mean to our communities.

Bars and clubs are being hit extremely hard as well.  According to Yelp, 44 percent of the bars and clubs on their site that were initially listed as “temporarily closed” have now been shut down on a permanent basis…

Bars and clubs are also closing forever at high rates: 44 percent (as of July) of 5,454 temporarily shuttered bars and other nightlife establishments are shut for good.

Other sectors of the economy are doing relatively better, but the overall outlook for small businesses in America is exceedingly bleak.

In New York City, it is being projected that one-third of all small businesses will never be able to open again…

As many as 76,000 small businesses in New York City – a third of the 230,000 citywide – may never reopen after forced to close during the COVID-19 lockdown, business leaders have warned.

The Partnership for New York City, a not-for-profit organization that connects business leaders with local government, predicted that 76,000 small businesses will never be able to reopen in a report produced by 14 consulting firms.

I know that number is hard to believe, but this is actually happening.

Our politicians want to encourage people “to go back to work”, but for millions upon millions of Americans the jobs that they once had are gone forever.

Air travel is another industry that is being absolutely devastated by this pandemic.  After a modest bounce in June, the number of air passengers is starting to fall again

The resurgence of coronavirus infections is derailing the travel industry’s modest recovery. The number of air passengers processed through TSA security lines fell during the week ended July 20, compared with the prior week, according to Bank of America. This metric is down more than 70% from a year ago.

United (UAL) CEO Scott Kirby told CNBC on Wednesday that the airline doesn’t “expect to get anywhere close to normal until there’s a vaccine that’s been widely distributed to a large portion of the population.”

All of the numbers that I have shared in this article tell us that we are in an economic depression.

Many had hoped that this economic downturn would be short-lived and that a “V-shaped recovery” would commence once the coronavirus lockdowns were lifted.

But instead a resurgence of cases has caused new restrictions to be implemented, and economic activity is slowing down again.

The bottom line is that all of us need to get prepared to weather a long-term economic storm that is going to be incredibly painful.

The last recession was bad, but it isn’t even worth comparing to the times that we are entering now.  All of our lives are being turned upside down, and a lot of people are not going to be able to handle what comes next.

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 as many people as we possibly can.

The Housing Crisis Of 2020: Millions Of Americans Missed Their Last Rent Payments, And Tens Of Millions Could Soon Be Evicted

Week after week we continue to get economic numbers that are absolutely horrific, and it appears that we are heading for a housing crisis that will be even worse than what we witnessed in 2008.  Back then, millions of Americans lost their homes, but this time around it could be tens of millions.  I know that a statement like that may sound overly dramatic, but I believe that many of you that feel that way may change your minds after reading this entire article.

In order to make rent and mortgage payments, Americans need paychecks coming in, and right now people continue to lose jobs at a pace that is hard to believe.

On Thursday, we learned that another 1.3 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week.  That was worse than expected, and it represented the 17th week in a row when the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits exceeded one million.

And as I keep reminding my readers each week, the all-time record for a single week prior to this year was just 695,000.

Overall, more than 51 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the last 17 weeks, and that is by far the largest spike in unemployment in all of U.S. history.

In fact, the numbers that we have been seeing should theoretically be close to impossible.  In February, the number of Americans that were employed peaked at an all-time high of 152 million, and the number of people that have filed new claims for unemployment since that time represents more than a third of that total.

I know that some people are hesitant to use the term “economic collapse”, but what else are we supposed to call this?

Incredibly, one expect quoted by USA Today is telling us that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits could actually “increase” next week…

The rollbacks may spark a new wave of layoffs, especially in hard-hit states like Texas, Florida, Arizona and California, and possibly even push the claims totals higher.

“Next week could easily see an increase” in initial claims, economist Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics wrote in a research note.

Needless to say, this tsunami of unemployment has resulted in a whole lot of people not being able to make their rent payments.

In fact, the Census Bureau has announced that 11.6 million Americans live in households that did not make their most recent rent payments…

According to the latest weekly Census Bureau data, 11.6 million people live in households that missed their last rental payments.

More than 22 million Americans also have no, or only slight confidence, that they will be able to make next month’s rental payments, the figures show.

Ouch.

Large numbers of Americans are getting behind on their mortgage payments as well.  The following comes from Wolf Richter

In April, the share of all mortgages that were past due, but less than 30 days, soared to 3.4% of all mortgages, the highest in the data going back to 1999. This was up from 0.7% in April last year. During the Housing Bust, this rate peaked in November 2008 at 2%

In the months ahead, millions of Americans will fall so far behind on their rent payments that they will be facing eviction.

And millions of other Americans will fall so far behind on their mortgages that they will be in serious danger of losing their homes.

According to Emily Benfer, we could potentially see a total of “20 million to 28 million people” get kicked out of their homes in the months ahead…

“We have never seen this extent of eviction in such a truncated amount of time in our history,” Benfer said when asked about how the current homeless crisis compares to the 2008 housing crisis.

She continued: “We can expect this to increase dramatically in the coming weeks and months, especially as the limited support and intervention measures that are in place start to expire. About 10 million people, over a period of years, were displaced from their homes following the foreclosure crisis in 2008. We’re looking at 20 million to 28 million people in this moment, between now and September, facing eviction.”

We have never seen anything like this before.

And of course Benfer is assuming that there won’t be another major crisis between now and the end of the year.

So what happens if we get to September, October and November and things in this country start going absolutely haywire once again?

The closer we get to the election, the higher societal tensions will run, and they are already so high that we could see a major eruption at literally any moment.

And I should also mention that the $600 weekly bonus payments that were keeping so many unemployed Americans afloat will be terminated at the end of July.  Once those payments stop, millions upon millions of unemployed workers will have a much, much more difficult time making rent and mortgage payments.

Most Americans believe that “the worst is behind us”, but the truth is that we are sleepwalking into an unprecedented economic nightmare.

If you follow my work on The Most Important News, you already know how concerned I am about the end of this year and beyond, and I will be laying out precisely what I believe is coming in my new book which will be released later this month.

The “perfect storm” which I have mentioned so many times over the last couple of years is now here, and most Americans are completely and totally unprepared for it.

I would very much encourage you to take the summer months as an opportunity to make the preparations that you need to make for the chaos that is approaching.  As I detailed two days ago, we are already witnessing nationwide shortages of aluminum cans, soda, flour, canned soup, pasta and rice.  As the problems in our nation intensify, the shortages will only get worse.

Of course in order to store up supplies you must have somewhere to put them, and for tens of millions of Americans it is going to be a real struggle just to keep their homes during the months ahead.

It looks like we are facing a housing crisis that is going to be far worse than anything that we experienced during the last recession, and unless Congress starts making money rain from the sky it doesn’t appear that there is any hope of stopping it.

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 as many people as we possibly can.

Job Losses, Bankruptcies And Store Closings Are All At Apocalyptic Levels As The U.S. Economic Collapse Rolls On

The last four months have been an unending nightmare for the U.S. economy.  Businesses are shutting down at a pace that we have never seen before in American history, the “retail apocalypse” has reached an entirely new level that none of the experts were anticipating prior to this pandemic, and we are in the midst of the greatest spike in unemployment that the United States has ever experienced.  On Thursday, we learned that another 1.3 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that number has now been above one million for 16 consecutive weeks.  Things were supposed to be “getting back to normal” by now, buy that hasn’t happened.  Instead, we continue to see a tsunami of job losses that is absolutely unprecedented in American history.

When we look back at the old peaks for unemployment claims, they almost seem laughable compared to what we are experiencing now…

The highest prior weekly total for new unemployment claims was 695,000, in October 1982, according to Labor Department data. During the Great Recession, the country’s last downturn, weekly claims peaked at 665,000, in March 2009.

For those that aren’t old enough to remember, the recession of the early 1980s and the recession of 2008 and 2009 were both really, really painful.

But of course they weren’t anything like this.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that the numbers have gotten so bad.  According to Wolf Richter, the number of continuing claims that were filed last week under all state and federal unemployment programs is the highest that we have ever seen…

The total number of people who continued to claim unemployment compensation in the week ended July 4 under all state and federal unemployment insurance programs, including gig workers, jumped by 1.41 million people, to 32.92 million (not seasonally adjusted), the Department of Labor reported this morning. It was the highest and most gut-wrenching level ever.

The number of people who continue to receive state unemployment insurance (blue columns) has been ticking down, as more people got their jobs back than newly unemployed flooded the state unemployment systems. But the number of people claiming federal unemployment insurance, including gig workers under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, continues to surge (red columns), which causes the total number of people claiming unemployment benefits under all programs to rise

Up to this point, the emergency measures that Congress put in place to help unemployed workers have definitely eased the pain for millions upon millions of people that have lost their jobs, but a number of those emergency measures are about to expire

Several benefits were developed in March to help ease the financial strains on Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Those are set to come to an end before July 31, which could impact 20 million Americans, MarketWatch reports. The CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27 by President Donald Trump, provided benefits like enhanced unemployment payments to supplement lost income from layoffs. It also includes a clause to delay evictions for 120 days.

Of course Congress could choose to extend some or all of the elements in the CARES Act, but that would mean borrowing and spending more giant mountains of money that we do not currently have.

Meanwhile, we are seeing businesses fail at a rate that is absolutely staggering.

According to the Washington Post, more than 100,000 businesses have permanently closed their doors during this pandemic, and Bloomberg just posted an article about 110 major companies that have declared bankruptcy here in 2020…

Retailers, airlines, restaurants. But also sports leagues, a cannabis company and an archdiocese plagued by sex-abuse allegations. These are some of the more than 110 companies that declared bankruptcy in the U.S. this year and blamed Covid-19 in part for their demise.

Sadly, the bankruptcy announcements just keep on coming.

This week, we learned that Brooks Brothers has filed for bankruptcy protection

The coronavirus pandemic has now claimed one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious retailers.

Brooks Brothers — pioneer of the polo and uniform of the polished prepster — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection from creditors on Wednesday, as it continues to search for a buyer.

That hit me particularly hard, because I have had Brooks Brothers shirts in my closet ever since I was a young man.

They have always made great products, and I just assumed that they would always be around.

Of course lots of other iconic retailers are failing as well.  Before too long, naming the major retailers that are still operating successfully may be easier than trying to name the vast number of major retailers that have gone belly up.

Store closings are happening fast and furious these days, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon.  Starbucks just announced that they will be closing 400 locations, Dunkin’ Donuts just announced that they will be closing 450 locations, and Bed Bath & Beyond has increased the number of stores that they will be closing to approximately 200

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) announced Wednesday that it plans to close roughly 200 stores in the next two years.

The retail chain — which also operates Buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops and Harmon Face Values — said it would be mainly closing Bed Bath & Beyond stores, starting later this year. The announcement came as the company released its quarterly earnings report on Wednesday.

If you are still not convinced that the retail industry is facing an unprecedented cataclysm, I think that the following list will do the trick.

Forbes has been tracking the major store closing announcements of 2020, and their list was recently shared by Zero Hedge

Forbes’ Store Closure List In 2020

Chuck E Cheese: 54 U.S. stores (bankruptcy)

Destination Maternity: 90 stores (bankruptcy)

GNC: 1,200 stores (bankruptcy)

J. Crew: 54 stores (bankruptcy)

JCPenney JCP: 154 stores (bankruptcy)

K-Mart: 45 stores (bankruptcy)

Modell’s Sporting Goods: 153 stores (bankruptcy)

Neiman Marcus (Last Call): 20 stores (bankruptcy)

Papyrus: 254 stores (bankruptcy)

Pier 1 Imports PIR: 936 stores (bankruptcy)

Sears: 51 stores (bankruptcy)

Signet Jewelers SIG: 232 stores

Stage Stores: 738 stores (liquidating)

Tuesday Morning: 230 stores (bankruptcy)

***

AC Moore: 145 stores

Art Van Furniture: 190 stores

AT&T: 250 stores

Bath & Body Works: 50 stores

Bed Bath & Beyond: 44 stores

Bloomingdale’s: 1 store

Bose: 11 stores

Chico: 100 stores (estimated)

Children’s Place: 200 stores

Christopher Banks: 30-40 stores

CVS Pharmacy: 22 stores

Earth Fare: 50 stores

Express: 66 stories

Forever 21: 15 stores (estimated)

GameStop GME: 320 stores

Gap: 230 stores

Guess: 100 stores

Hallmark: 16 stores

Lord & Taylor: 30 or 40 stores

Lowe’s Canada: 34 stores

Lucky Market: 32 stores

Macy’s M: 125 stores (over 3 years)

Microsoft: 77 stores

New York & Co: 27 stores

Nordstrom: 16 stores

Office Depot: 90 stores

Olympia Sports: 76 stores

Party City: 21 stores

Starbucks SBUX: 400 stores (over 18 months)

Victoria’s Secret: 250 stores

Walgreen: 100 stores (estimated)

Walmart: 2 stores

Wilson Leather & G.H. Bass: 199 stores

Zara: 1,000 stores worldwide (over 2 years)

This week, the number of newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surged to the highest level that we have seen yet, and that means that fear of COVID-19 is going to continue to paralyze economic activity in the United States for the foreseeable future.

That means that many more businesses will be shutting their doors, there will be many more bankruptcies, and millions more Americans will be losing their jobs.

This is what an economic collapse looks like, and it is just getting started.

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 as many people as we possibly can.

The U.S. Economy Hasn’t Experienced Anything Like This Since The Great Depression Of The 1930s

The recession of 2008 and 2009 was bad, but it was nothing like this.  Even though this new economic downturn is only a few months old, we are already seeing numbers that we haven’t seen since the worst parts of the Great Depression of the 1930s.  More than 48 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past 15 weeks, well over 100,000 businesses have permanently closed their doors, and civil unrest has turned quite a few of our major cities into war zones.  But not all areas of the country are being affected equally.  For example, there are rural areas that haven’t really seen a lot of COVID-19 cases where life seems to have changed very little from six months ago.  On the other hand, some urban areas that have been hit really hard by COVID-19 have been absolutely devastated economically.  For example, the New York Times is reporting that a million jobs have been lost in New York City, and the unemployment rate for NYC “is hovering near 20 percent”

The city is staggering toward reopening with some workers back at their desks or behind cash registers, and on Monday, it began a new phase, allowing personal-care services like nail salons and some outdoor recreation to resume. Even so, the city’s unemployment rate is hovering near 20 percent — a figure not seen since the Great Depression.

We are going to be using the phrase “since the Great Depression” a lot in the coming months.

Fear of COVID-19 is going to paralyze our economy for the foreseeable future, and all of this fear is hitting some companies more severely than others.  On Tuesday, Levi Strauss announced that sales were down a whopping 62 percent during the second quarter

The denim maker Levi Strauss & Co.’s sales fell 62% during its fiscal second quarter, the company announced Tuesday, as its online sales weren’t enough to make up for its stores being temporarily shut for roughly 10 weeks during the Covid-19 crisis.

If Levi Strauss expected this to be just a temporary setback, they would probably try to keep all of their employees on board.

But instead, they apparently believe that hard times are here to stay and they have just decided to eliminate “about 700 jobs”

Levi’s also announced it will be slashing about 15% of its global corporate workforce, impacting about 700 jobs, in a bid to cut costs during the coronavirus pandemic. It said the move should generate annualized savings for Levi’s of $100 million.

Of course a whole lot of other companies are laying off workers right now too.  Another 1.427 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that is an absolutely catastrophic number.  Prior to 2020, the worst week in all of U.S. history for new unemployment claims was in 1982 when 695,000 unemployed workers filed in a single week.  So what we are witnessing right now is nothing short of a “tsunami of job losses”, and even CNN is admitting that millions of the jobs that have been lost “are never coming back”…

The American economy’s unprecedented jobs rebound masks a difficult truth: For millions of people, the jobs they lost are never coming back.

“It’s clear that the pandemic is doing some fundamental damage to the job market,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. “A lot of the jobs lost aren’t coming back any time soon. The idea that the economy is going to snap back to where it was before the pandemic is clearly not going to happen.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Since most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck before this pandemic erupted, millions of unemployed workers have found themselves in desperate need very suddenly.  I have written numerous articles about the massive lines that we have been witnessing at food banks around the nation, and we just witnessed another two mile long line at a food bank in Florida

More than 700 cars were seen waiting in a two-mile long food bank line in Florida as the US grapples with nearly half of Americans being unemployed amid a spike in new coronavirus cases that has sparked fears of more shut downs and lay-offs.

Sunrise Assistant Leisure Services Director Maria Little, who was put in charge of food distribution for the city when the coronavirus hit the US in March, said her group served about 720 cars in Miami on Wednesday.

This is not what a “recovery” looks like.

In fact, for certain sectors of the economy the numbers are rapidly getting a lot worse.  For instance, just check out what CNBC is reporting

Delinquencies in commercial mortgage-backed securities last month had their largest one-month surge since Fitch Ratings began tracking the metric nearly 16 years ago.

The delinquency rate hit 3.59% in June, an increase from 1.46% in May. New delinquencies totaled $10.8 billion in June, raising the total delinquent pool to $17.2 billion.

And Fitch Ratings is warning that these numbers are going to get far worse in the months ahead.

And this is just the beginning. Fitch analysts are projecting that the impact from the coronavirus pandemic will drive the delinquency rate to between 8.25% and 8.75% by the end of the third quarter of this year.

I have said this before, and I will say it again.

We are on the verge of the biggest commercial mortgage meltdown in the history of the United States.

Countless restaurants and retailers are getting way behind on their rent payments, and as a result many owners of commercial property are finding it increasingly difficult to make their mortgage payments.

The dominoes are starting to fall, and this is going to get really, really messy as we head into 2021 and beyond.

Of course the same thing could be said for the U.S. economy as a whole.

I know that I haven’t been posting quite as often the last couple of weeks, and that is because I have been finishing my new book.  It is not too far from being completed, and it is going to be the most important thing that I have written so far.

We are right on the precipice of the most chaotic chapter in all of American history, and a collapsing economy is just going to be one element of “the perfect storm” that we are facing.

So please use the summer months to get prepared for what is ahead, because even though things are bad right now, the truth is that we have only experienced the leading edge of “the perfect storm” so far.

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 as many people as we possibly can.

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