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.

We Are Witnessing Economic Carnage Like We Have Never Seen Before, And The Economy Is Going To Continue To Bleed Jobs

Now we are up to 33.5 million jobs lost.  In just 7 weeks, the U.S. economy has been completely turned upside down, and the numbers are unlike anything that we have ever seen before.  On Thursday, the Labor Department announced that 3.17 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week.  That brings the grand total for this crisis up to 33.5 million, and that figure absolutely dwarfs what we witnessed during the last recession.  And as I discussed yesterday, even the mainstream media is now admitting that millions of those jobs are never coming back.

Yes, some Americans will be going back to work now that the lockdowns are being ended, but for now it is being projected that the job losses will continue to surpass any gains that are made by workers that are returning to their old jobs.

In fact, one prominent economist told CNBC that it will likely take until mid-June before the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits each week falls below a million…

At the current pace, the week claims numbers should fall below 1 million by mid-June, according to Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “We’re very hopeful that June will see the beginnings of a rebound as states begin to reopen,” Shepherdson said.

To put that in perspective, prior to this year the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.

So even when we get down to a million new claims each week, that will still be a catastrophic level.

And the truth is that these numbers don’t even tell the entire story.  Because state unemployment websites have been so overwhelmed, there are vast numbers of unemployed Americans that still have not been able to successfully file claims.

One of those unemployed Americans is Florida resident Roselande Guerrier

Roselande Guerrier lies in bed each night, waiting for her cellphone to display 7:30 a.m. – when the Florida unemployment office opens – and calls, aching for answers, searching for help.

“All night, my eyes are open,” she said. “Five o’clock, my eyes are open. I call at 6 o’clock and the office is closed. I call at 7:30 and boom, ‘All lines are busy.’ Every number they give me, I try, but they’re always busy.

She has been trying day after day, and she still hasn’t been successful.

So for now she doesn’t have a single penny coming in, and she has three hungry kids to feed

Guerrier, 36, has spent 13 years changing sheets, picking up dirty towels and scrubbing bathrooms as a housekeeper at the Fontainebleau hotel, the iconic Miami Beach resort. At night, she would do the same at the Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, an art deco resort a few blocks away.

Both those jobs vanished on March 23 when the hotels were forced to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With three children to care for, she hasn’t seen a nickel of unemployment benefits or federal relief money.

Could you imagine being in her situation?

When you have little ones depending on you, it can be absolutely soul crushing to have nothing to provide.

Sadly, the job losses just continue to roll on.  This week, several more big companies have publicly announced layoffs

The layoff announcements by larger companies continue on a daily basis. Yesterday, Uber announced that it would lay off 3,700 people; Haliburton announced that it would lay off 1,000 people at its corporate headquarters, after having already laid of thousands of people elsewhere; the Natural History Museum in New York City announced it would lay off 450 people; etc. etc. It’s a loud and terrible drumbeat. Thousands of smaller companies are laying off people without media attention.

If you were assuming that the U.S. economy would just bounce back to where it was before, you can forget about that right now.

In fact, Bob Michele told Bloomberg that it may be more than a decade before U.S. employment returns to the levels that we saw prior to this pandemic…

J.P. Morgan Chief Investment Officer Bob Michele predicted it will take 10-12 years after the pandemic for U.S. employment to get back to its pre-coronavirus level, insisting it won’t be as simple as turning the economy back on.

“No, it’s not that simple … it’s going to take years, or longer to get back to where we are, or where we were,” Michele said on Bloomberg when asked if reopening would be as simple as “turning on the lights.”

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what an economic depression looks like, and it is going to be with us for the foreseeable future.

Of course Congress certainly didn’t help matters when they created a big, fat juicy incentive for people to stay unemployed.  As Zero Hedge reminds us, millions of unemployed workers are now bringing home a lot more money than when they were actually working…

Worse still, the final numbers will likely be hurt even more due to the bailout itself: as a reminder, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, could contribute to new records being reached in coming weeks as it increases eligibility for jobless claims to self-employed and gig workers, extends the maximum number of weeks that one can receive benefits, and provides an additional $600 per week until July 31. A recent WSJ article noted that this has created incentives for some businesses to temporarily furlough their employees, knowing that they will be covered financially as the economy is shutdown. Meanwhile, those making below $50k will generally be made whole and possibly be better off on unemployment benefits.

I certainly don’t understand why Congress would do such a thing.

If only we had elected at least a few people that could have brought some common sense to that institution…

Getting back to the economy, we continue to get more evidence that we are in the midst of a complete and utter economic implosion with each passing day.

For example, we just learned that orders for Class 8 trucks in April were down a whopping 73 percent compared to a year ago…

The misery in Class 8 heavy duty truck orders continues. Still struggling with the remnants of an order backlog that started almost two years ago with record orders in August 2018, the industry was unable to find an equilibrium prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Orders were sluggish and we noted numerous trucking companies that closed up shop altogether in 2019.

Post-pandemic, things look even more helpless. In April, the industry posted its worst order number on record as the economy ground to a halt as a result of the nationwide lockdown. Only 4,000 Class 8 orders were made last month, which is down 73% year over year and 44% from March.

Virtually every corner of the economy is dramatically slowing down, and that is going to force more layoffs in the months ahead.

As I discussed yesterday, one survey just found that 52 percent of all small business owners expect to be out of business in the next six months.  Traditionally, small businesses are the primary engine of job growth in this country, but now they are going to be failing at an unprecedented rate.

One of those small businesses that is in the process of failing belongs to wedding invitation designer Emily Rose Asher

Wedding plans nationwide have been shot to hell in this age of social distancing. But Chicago-based calligrapher and wedding invitation designer Emily Rose Asher still has some work creating “save the NEW date” cards that couples are now sending to guests when they decide to reschedule their big event.

Still, Asher said, whereas she used to earn thousands of dollars during wedding season, she’s now earning hundreds. And the fact that she still has any income at all likely will disqualify her for unemployment benefits. But she did apply for a PPP loan at the end of April after trying to sort through conflicting guidance from two accountants about her eligibility.

I have such respect for people that create a business out of nothing and slowly nurture it into a success.

But now fear of COVID-19 threatens to kill millions of such businesses.

In other words, millions of hard working Americans are about to see their dreams go up in smoke right in front of their eyes.

It is a tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions, and I wish that it wasn’t happening.

But it is happening, and what is truly sad is that all of this could have been avoided if we had made much different choices.

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 Number Of Jobs Lost In April Was More Than Double The Total Number Of Jobs Lost During The Last Recession

Yes, you read that headline correctly.  The economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 is often referred to as “the Great Recession” because the U.S. had not experienced economic pain of that magnitude since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Millions of Americans lost their jobs, mortgage defaults soared and Wall Street was shaken to the core.  But as bad as things were during the last recession, things are even worse now.  To say that what we are witnessing is “unprecedented” doesn’t do it justice, because what is happening to the U.S. economy in 2020 is truly, truly horrifying, and many believe that what we have experienced so far is just the beginning.

ADP has been tracking private payrolls in the United States for many, many years, and each month their payroll report is watched very carefully by economists.

Prior to this year, the worst month in the history of the ADP report was in February 2009 when 834,665 jobs were shed from U.S. private payrolls.  Needless to say, that old record just got completely shattered

Private payrolls hemorrhaged more than 20 million jobs in April as companies sliced workers amid a coronavirus-induced shutdown that took most of the U.S. economy offline, according to a report Wednesday from ADP.

In all, the decline totaled 20,236,000 — easily the worst loss in the survey’s history going back to 2002 but not as bad as the 22 million that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting. The previous record was 834,665 in February 2009 amid the financial crisis and accompanying Great Recession.

So what this means is that the number of private payroll jobs lost in the United States last month was more than 24 times greater than the previous all-time record.

In fact, the number of private payroll jobs lost last month was more than double the total number of jobs lost during the last recession

“Job losses of this scale are unprecedented,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute, which compiles the report in conjunction with Moody’s Analytics. “The total number of job losses for the month of April alone was more than double the total jobs lost during the Great Recession.”

We have never seen an unemployment spike like this ever before, and we may never see a spike quite like it ever again.

Of course there are some people out there that have been quick to remind me that many of these job losses are “temporary” and that millions of Americans will soon be going back to work.

Yes, as states begin to end their lockdowns the U.S. economy will regain millions of the jobs that have been lost.

But there are also millions of jobs that we aren’t ever going to get back.  The following comes from a Bloomberg article entitled “Layoffs Start Turning From Temporary to Permanent Across America”

Plenty of layoffs that just a month ago were labeled “temporary” are now tagged “indefinite” or “permanent.” Alongside announcements of sweeping staff cuts by major employers such as Boeing Co. and U.S. Steel Corp. and the accelerating pace of downsizing in brick-and-mortar retailing, such notices are a sign that even as businesses continue to hope for a speedy recovery, they are starting to plan for a slow one.

I personally know quite a few people that have permanently lost their jobs, and you probably do too.

This week, we learned that Lord & Taylor plans to start the process of liquidating, and all of their employees will soon be out on the street on a permanent basis

Venerable U.S. retailer Lord & Taylor plans to liquidate inventory in its 38 department stores once restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus are lifted as it braces for a bankruptcy process from which it does not expect to emerge, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Lord & Taylor’s preparations to liquidate its inventory as soon as its stores reopen offer a window into the grim future of a high-profile retailer – a storied department store chain founded in 1826 and billed as the oldest in the United States – that does not expect to survive the pandemic’s economic fallout.

But much, much, much more importantly, we are about to see a wave of small business failures in the United States that will absolutely dwarf anything that we have ever seen before in our history.

Governors all across America can end the lockdowns, but they can’t order people to go out and spend money.  For many months to come, fear of COVID-19 is going to prevent millions of consumers from resuming their normal economic patterns, and so small businesses all over the country will be facing greatly reduced revenues for the foreseeable future.

Needless to say, many of them aren’t going to make it and those that fail are going to have to let all of their workers go.  In an article that I just posted, I discussed a stunning new survey that discovered that 52 percent of all small business owners in the United States “expect to be out of business within six months”.

We are talking about millions of businesses that may soon be saying goodbye to all of their employees for good.

Giant corporations have the resources to make it through an extended downturn, but most small businesses do not.  It is hard enough to try to run a profitable small business even when conditions are ideal, but now this pandemic has made that task nearly impossible in many cases.

So yes, the U.S. economy will recover some of the jobs that were lost during the lockdowns, but we will also continue to bleed more jobs in the months ahead.

I know that a lot of my readers are quite eager for a return to “normal”, but we have to realize that the “old normal” is gone.

Instead, a “new normal” is starting to emerge, and on Tuesday California Governor Gavin Newsom warned that we won’t fully get there “until we get to immunity and a vaccine”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said as many counties around the state prepare to reopen retail for curbside pickup Friday, maintaining physical-distancing measures will be crucial to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread.

“We’re not going back to normal,” said Newsom, who gave Tuesday’s press briefing from the site of a Sacramento business called Display California. “It’s a new normal with adaptations and modifications, until we get to immunity and a vaccine.”

Unfortunately, it is exceedingly unlikely that we will reach “herd immunity” in the United States before 2021, and the quest for a “vaccine” is not going to be easy.

If you doubt this, just do some research and find out how many other successful coronavirus vaccines there have been in our history.

When they tell you that an easy solution is right around the corner, they aren’t being honest with you.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is literally imploding all around us, and this is just the start of our troubles.

The good news is that COVID-19 is not as deadly as many were originally projecting.  Instead of millions dead, the final death toll in the U.S. will probably only be in the hundreds of thousands.

As this pandemic eventually begins to subside, use it as an opportunity to get prepared for what is coming next, because COVID-19 is definitely not the worst thing we are going to face.

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.

18 Signs That We Are Facing A Record Breaking Economic Implosion In 2020

In just six weeks, the entire global economy has completely come apart.  All over the world we are seeing numbers fall faster than we ever have before, and the outlook for the rest of the year is exceedingly bleak.  Fear of the coronavirus is going to paralyze global trade for the foreseeable future, and the lockdowns in some nations will last for many months to come.  Here in the United States, some states are attempting to make an effort to “reopen”, but in most instances that will involve “multiple stages”.  Meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans have already lost their jobs, much of the population has already run through their meager savings, and financial institutions are becoming extremely tight with their money.  Even if COVID-19 disappeared tomorrow, our momentum would still take us into an economic depression, but of course this virus isn’t going to disappear any time soon.  After 9/11 our society evolved into an anti-terror state, and COVID-19 is going to permanently alter our society as well.  So anyone that was hoping for a quick “return to normal” can forget it, because “normal” is about to be completely redefined.

The pace at which economic conditions have deteriorated in recent weeks has been absolutely breathtaking, and the numbers just keep getting worse and worse.

The following are 18 signs that we are facing a record breaking economic implosion in 2020…

#1 According to economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal, the April jobs report will show that the unemployment rate in the United States is now above 16 percent.

#2 U.S. manufacturing orders just crashed by the most ever.

#3 U.S. gasoline consumption just dropped to the lowest level ever recorded.

#4 Light vehicle sales in the U.S. just fell to the lowest level that we have seen since the early 1970s.

#5 The government program that was supposed to get small businesses through this crisis has been a tremendous failure

According to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey released Monday, which surveyed 2,200 small business owners across America, while the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program was instituted to give them a lifeline through the coronavirus and economic shutdown, only 13% of the 45% who applied for the PPP were approved.

#6 The “coming meat shortages” are already here.  According to the New York Post, Costco is now rationing meat and Kroger is warning customers of very serious supply problems…

Costco on Monday said it will be limiting customers to just three packages of meat per shopper, while Kroger supermarkets posted an alert on the meat section of its website warning that it may have limited inventory “due to high demand.”

Grocers have been bracing for a run on meat in mid-May as major meat processing plants, including Tyson Foods, have been forced to shut down production. But the shortages appear to have come earlier than expected as consumers worried about the meat shortage have been stocking up, experts say.

#7 Global smartphone shipments were down 11.7 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago.  That represents the fastest drop on record.

#8 Hong Kong just recorded the worst economic contraction in the city’s entire history.

#9 U.S. consumer spending was down 7.6 percent during the first quarter of 2020.

#10 American Airlines posted a loss of 2.2 billion dollars during the first quarter of 2020.

#11 It looks like retail giants Neiman Marcus, J. Crew and JC Penney are all headed for bankruptcy.

#12 Fox Business is reporting that Hertz is preparing to file for bankruptcy due to plunging car rental ridership.

#13 Gold’s Gym field for bankruptcy on Monday.

#14 Edmunds is projecting that auto sales in the United States this month will be down by more than half compared to April 2019.

#15 In Mexico, manufacturing activity is falling at the fastest pace ever recorded.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

While few have lofty expectations for economic performance with the global economy still largely shutdown, what is happening in Mexico is simply unprecedented. Here are some striking observations detailing the unprecedented economic collapse of the southern US neighbor, courtesy of Goldman.

Business confidence declined sharply in April (the seventh consecutive monthly decline) with the index now sitting deep within pessimist territory. The Manufacturing and Services PMIs also fell sharply in April, and are now at the lowest levels on record.

#16 More than 30 million Americans have already lost their jobs, and economists are projecting that millions more will lose their jobs in the weeks ahead.

#17 In March, U.S. home sales declined by double digit percentages in every region of the country.

#18 White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett is warning that U.S. GDP could fall by up to 30 percent during the second quarter of 2020.

For investors, the good news is that stock prices have bounced back quite a bit after the initial crash, and many market optimists are hoping that this Fed-fueled rally will keep on rolling.

But others are warning that this is a trap for bullish investors, and Kevin Smith is openly telling everyone that this could be the “last chance to sell” before another huge move downward…

The stock market may be flashing some ridiculously bullish signals, but hedge fund bear Kevin Smith is sticking by his prediction that the Dow and S&P 500 are on the verge of a Great Depression-level crash.

In fact, the Crescat Capital founder warns, this is your “last chance to sell” before the impending collapse.

We shall see what happens, but for the moment the financial markets are doing their best to try to defy economic reality.

Unfortunately, economic reality is hitting most Americans like a ton of bricks right now.  We are in the middle of the greatest spike in unemployment that the United States has ever seen by a very wide margin, and most of the jobs that have been lost are never coming back.

And as bad as things are already, the truth is that this is just the beginning.

A whole lot more pain is on the way, and it is going to shake our nation to the core.

Our economic and financial bubbles lasted far longer than they should have, but now fear of COVID-19 has burst them all, and it isn’t going to be possible to reinflate them this time around.

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.

About One-Fifth Of All The Jobs In The U.S. Are Already Gone, And This Economic Depression Is Just 6 Weeks Old

In all of U.S. history we have never seen anything like this.  I have been sitting at my desk for quite a while searching for the proper words to convey the gravity of what we are facing, and to be honest it has been quite a struggle.  On Thursday, we learned that another 3.8 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week.  That was much higher than many experts were anticipating, because by now the initial surge of unemployment caused by the coronavirus lockdowns should have started to fade quite a bit.  But instead, the job loss tsunami continues to roll on, and at this point a total of 30.3 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past six weeks.  The following comes from ABC News

Roughly 30.3 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began forcing millions of employers to close their doors and slash their workforces. That is more people than live in the New York and Chicago metropolitan areas combined, and it’s by far the worst string of layoffs on record.

According to numbers that come straight from the Federal Reserve, more than 152 million Americans were working in February, and that was an all-time high.

So losing 30.3 million jobs in six weeks means that nearly one-fifth of all jobs in the United States have officially vanished in just a month and a half.

And actually things are even worse than that, because millions of Americans still have not been able to successfully file claims because state unemployment websites have been so overloaded.  Just check out these truly alarming numbers from the Economic Policy Institute

The Economic Policy Institute found that for every 10 people who said they successfully filed a jobless claim in the previous four weeks, three to four more attempted to apply but couldn’t get through the system to file a claim.

Meanwhile, another two people didn’t even bother to try because it seemed too hard.

State unemployment websites were never designed to handle this sort of an onslaught.  For some unemployed Americans, attempting to get the benefits that they have been promised can be an exceedingly frustrating experience

Marci Oberst sat down at her computer Tuesday and embarked on what’s become a daily ritual – trying to log onto the Maryland Department of Labor’s website so she can extend her unemployment insurance.

At 9:30 AM, she was number 88,000 in line, according to the state’s labor website.

Number 88,000 in line?

How is that even possible?

Sadly, this is what an economic collapse looks like, and the months ahead are going to be exceedingly painful.

Needless to say, economic activity has come to a virtual standstill during these lockdowns, and this is really starting to show up in the numbers.  For example, Edmunds is projecting that U.S. auto sales will be down by more than half compared to last April…

The car shopping experts at Edmunds say that April will be a record down month for the auto industry due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, forecasting that 633,260 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 7.7 million. This reflects a 52.5% decrease in sales from April 2019, and a 36.6% decrease from March 2020. Edmunds analysts note that this is the lowest-volume sales month dating back to at least 1990; the second worst month for sales in the past 30 years was January of 2009, when 655,000 vehicles were sold.

And major retailers are failing so rapidly now that it is hard to keep up with all the carnage.

The latest major victim to make headlines is J. Crew

Clothing apparel company J. Crew is preparing for a bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as this weekend, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC.

Privately held J. Crew is working to secure $400 million in financing to fund operations in bankruptcy, said the people, who requested anonymity because the information is confidential. They cautioned that timing could still slip, and plans are not yet finalized.

COVID-19 has created an environment of great fear, and as I have been warning for a very long time, financial institutions tighten the flow of credit in such an environment.

We saw this happen during the last financial crisis, and it is starting to happen again now.

All over America we are seeing lending conditions being greatly tightened, and Wall Fargo just announced that they will no longer be taking applications for HELOCs at all

Wells Fargo, one of the largest home lenders in the U.S., is stepping away from the market for home equity lines of credit because of uncertainty tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank informed its mortgage personnel of the news Thursday in a conference call, according to a source, and the move was confirmed by company spokesman Tom Goyda.

I was absolutely floored when I first read that.

Our entire system depends on easy credit, and these changing conditions are going to create quite a bit of chaos for the foreseeable future.  Americans are going to find that it is much, much more difficult to be approved for home loans, auto loans and credit cards, and that is going to greatly depress economic activity.

Fear is also deeply affecting U.S. consumers, and at this point they are hoarding cash at a pace that we haven’t seen since the 1980s

Americans are so nervous about the state of the economy that they are stashing cash in the bank at a rate not seen since the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

The United States government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning that the savings rate surged to 13.1% in March — up from 8% in February.

But of course there are tens of millions of Americans that have already run through their savings and can’t hoard cash because they don’t have any left.

According to one brand new survey, many of those Americans now find themselves unable “to pay the rent, mortgage or utility bills”…

The coronavirus’ seismic hit on the U.S. economy is rattling people’s finances. Roughly 41% of working-age adults say their families have experienced a job loss, a decrease in work hours or other employment-related declines in income in recent weeks, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute.

Underscoring the jump in financial distress around the country: More than 4 in 10 of Americans whose work was affected by the pandemic said they weren’t able to pay the rent, mortgage or utility bills; skipped medical care; or were at risk of going hungry.

Fear of COVID-19 turned out to be the “black swan event” that burst our debt-fueled economic bubble, but this economic depression would not end even if the coronavirus pandemic suddenly disappeared tomorrow.

Now that the economic dominoes are tumbling, all of the economic momentum is taking us in just one direction, and nobody is going to be able to reverse this process now that it has started.

Next week, a couple more million unemployed Americans will probably be added to our rapidly growing total, and it is just a matter of time before “great civil unrest” starts breaking out.

Our debt-fueled economy and our Ponzi scheme financial system were never going to be sustainable in the long run, and many have been warning for years that we would eventually be facing this sort of a scenario.

Now it is here, and I wish that I could tell you that everything is going to be okay and that our leaders are going to be able to put the pieces of our shattered economy back together, but I can’t.

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.

We Have Never Seen An Economic Collapse Quite Like This, And It Is Largely A Self-Inflicted Wound

The rate at which the U.S. economy is unraveling is absolutely breathtaking.  On Thursday, we learned that another 4.4 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and that means that a grand total of more than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs during this pandemic so far.  To get an idea of just how dramatically this record-setting unemployment spike dwarfs what we witnessed during the last recession, check out these charts.  Prior to this year, the record for new unemployment claims in a single week was just 695,800, and now each of the last five weeks has been at least four times larger than that old record.  And as I discussed in an article earlier today, millions of those workers have absolutely no incentive to go back to work any time soon, because thanks to Congress they are bringing home more money now than when they were actually working.  So even if efforts are made to return the economy “to normal”, millions of workers will want to stay home until the $600 per week “unemployment bonus” finally expires.  The sad thing is that this new economic crisis is largely a self-inflicted wound, and I will explain why that is true later in this article.

But first let’s talk about where things currently stand.  Based on the unemployment claim numbers that we have been seeing, experts are now projecting that the current rate of unemployment in the U.S. “is about 16 percent”

With a labor force that totals about 162 million people, the claims figures suggest the unemployment rate is about 16 percent, or roughly one in six Americans — significantly higher than the 10 percent peak seen during the 2008 financial crisis. The previous one-week high for jobless claims was 695,800 in 1982.

For a long time I have been warning that the next crisis would make the last recession look like a Sunday picnic, and now that has actually happened.

In addition to an unprecedented number of initial claims for unemployment benefits, we have also absolutely smashed the all-time record for the number of “continuing claims”

A person who has filed an “initial claim” for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and still doesn’t have a job a week later is added to “insured unemployment.” The number of the “insured unemployed” – often called “continued claims” – skyrocketed to 15.98 million, by far the highest in the history of the data series. The high before this Covid-19 era was 6.63 million in May of 2009.

And now that Congress has given workers a tremendous financial incentive to stay unemployed, the number of “continuing claims” is likely to keep going higher with each passing week.

Of course this isn’t just happening in the United States.  Over in Europe, business activity is falling at the fastest pace ever recorded

“The eurozone economy suffered the steepest falls in business activity and employment ever recorded during April as a result of measures taken to contain the coronavirus outbreak,” it said.

The company’s purchasing manager’s index (PMI) dived to a record low of 13.5 in April, from the previous all-time low of 29.7 in March, confirming private sector gloom that is savaging the 19-nation eurozone.

To put those numbers in perspective, any reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

Needless to say, these absolutely horrific statistics are the result of the coronavirus lockdowns, but were these lockdowns actually necessary in the first place?

As I discussed yesterday, the only reason why any sort of a lockdown should be implemented is if the hospitals in a particular area are being overwhelmed, because if people are unable to get medical treatment that could definitely push the ultimate death toll from the pandemic higher than it otherwise would have been.

But in most parts of the U.S. and Europe right now, hospitals are not being even close to overwhelmed.

Keeping everyone at home is not going to defeat this virus or end this pandemic.  When you are dealing with a virus that spreads from person to person this easily, there is no way that you are going to contain it.  In fact, the U.S. just had 31,900 newly confirmed cases in the 24 hour period that just ended even though most of the nation has already been locked down for weeks.

Yes, these lockdowns have temporarily slowed down the spread of the virus, but the lockdowns have also extended the duration of this pandemic.  Ultimately, this pandemic is never going to be over until it sweeps through the population and “herd immunity” is achieved.  And as I discussed yesterday, 70 to 90 percent of the population is going to have to develop antibodies in order to get to that point.

And if you are waiting for a “vaccine” to get us out of this mess, you are going to be waiting for a very, very long time.  There has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus in all of human history, and the task of trying to develop one for COVID-19 has become exceedingly more difficult now that scientists have discovered that there are 30 different strains of the virus.

So the truth is that this outbreak is going to rip through our population, and nothing that our politicians can do will be able to stop that from happening.

But the good news is that new numbers from New York seem to indicate that we are closer to “herd immunity” than we previously thought…

Preliminary results from New York’s first coronavirus antibody study show nearly 14 percent tested positive, meaning they had the virus at some point and recovered, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. That equates to 2.7 million infections statewide — more than 10 times the state’s confirmed cases.

The study, part of Cuomo’s “aggressive” antibody testing launched earlier this week, is based on 3,000 random samples from 40 locations in 19 counties. While the preliminary data suggests much more widespread infection, it means New York’s mortality rate is much lower than previously thought.

However, another study that was conducted in L.A. County found that only 4 percent of their residents had developed antibodies, and that is probably more representative of the nation as a whole.

In any event, everyone agrees that the vast majority of the U.S. population has not developed antibodies, and that means that there will be many more cases and many more deaths in the months ahead.

And that is going to happen no matter how our politicians respond to this crisis.

So as long as our hospitals are not being overwhelmed, there isn’t a need for any lockdowns.  The final case total and the final death toll will be roughly the same whether there are lockdowns or not.

But these lockdowns are definitely killing our economy, and tens of millions of American workers now find themselves unemployed.

And if we continue to try to keep the U.S. economy shut down for a few more months, the economic damage will be incalculable.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying.  I am not saying that we should sacrifice lives in order to save the economy.  What I am saying is that about the same number of people are eventually going to die whether we have the lockdowns or not.  And if we can’t handle this, how in the world are we going to deal with what else is coming?

If you are elderly, have a compromised immune system or are in some other high risk group, you are going to have to quarantine yourself for the foreseeable future, but that would be true whether there are lockdowns or not.  The mortality rates for high risk groups are much, much higher than for the general population as a whole, and the danger is very real.

But everyone else should be allowed to get back to work, because most of the population is eventually going to catch this virus no matter what we do.  As long as our hospitals can handle it, we should proceed with life as normal.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.  Most of the current lockdowns are going to remain in place for quite some time, and this new economic depression is just going to get deeper and deeper.

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.

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