Things Have Gotten So Bad That A Million New Claims For Unemployment Benefits In One Week Is Considered “Good News”

The Labor Department announced on Thursday that another 1.006 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 the number of Americans that are losing their jobs each week continues to remain at a catastrophic level.  But this latest figure is actually being spun as “good news” because at least it was lower than the week before.  And I am willing to concede that point, because we should definitely welcome any sign that the numbers are starting to move in the right direction.  However, there is no doubt that what we have experienced up to this point in 2020 is nothing short of an economic cataclysm.  Over the last 23 weeks, more than 58 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits.  Even if zero workers filed for unemployment for the rest of 2020, this would still be the worst year for unemployment claims in all of U.S. history by a gigantic margin.  Vast hordes of workers have been losing their jobs week after week as the U.S. economy melts down right in front of our eyes.  This has truly been an economic horror show, and the most nightmarish chapters are still ahead of us.

When economic numbers start getting really bad, the government often decides to “modify” how they are calculated, and on Thursday the Labor Department announced that it will be “changing how it adjusts weekly jobless-claims figures for seasonal swings”.

Presumably, that should help the numbers look a bit better starting next week.

But no matter how much they massage the numbers, they can’t erase the fact that tens of millions of people are deeply hurting right now.  According to one new survey, 61 percent of Americans need “another relief bill”, and about two-thirds of Americans from the age of 24 to the age of 54 say that they are currently in financial distress

The latest survey by MagnifyMoney reveals 61 percent of the country needs another relief bill to pay for expenses. Over 80 percent of workers who have been laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19 are counting on more assistance. The poll of 1,010 Americans adds 71 percent of Generation X (ages 40 to 54) and 65 percent of millennials (ages 24 to 39) say they are currently in financial distress.

If you are not in financial distress at this moment, you should be very thankful for your blessings, because you are definitely in the minority.

And more layoff announcements just keep on coming with each passing day.  On Thursday, we learned that Lord & Taylor will be laying off all their workers and closing every single store

Lord & Taylor, the first department store established in the United States, is officially going out of business, ending a nearly 200-year run.

The bankrupt company announced Thursday that all of its 38 remaining stores and website have begun liquidation sales — a reversal from last week’s decision to keep 14 locations open.

When I was a kid, I was always so intimidated by Lord & Taylor when my mother would take me to the mall.

I always thought that was where the rich people shopped.

I never imagined that someday I would see it go out of business forever.

Of course countless other retailers are going belly up as the worst “retail apocalypse” in U.S. history rolls on.  According to Coresight Research, approximately 25 percent of all malls in the United States “will close over the next three to five years”

Another new report out this week from Coresight Research estimates 25% of America’s roughly 1,000 malls will close over the next three to five years, with the pandemic accelerating a demise that was already underway before the new virus emerged.

Can you imagine what our country is going to look like if that actually happens?

Already, communities all over America are being blighted by one boarded up property after another, and this is especially true in many impoverished areas.

Of course our economic problems have been accelerated by a series of very unusual events that have been beyond our control.  It has been one thing after another here in 2020, and the latest major disaster to hit us was Hurricane Laura.  We were extremely fortunate that neither New Orleans or Houston took a direct hit from this storm, because it was enormously destructive.  Just consider what one survivor told the press about the devastation in his community…

“It looks like 1,000 tornadoes went through here. It’s just destruction everywhere,” said Brett Geymann, who rode out the storm with three family members in Moss Bluff, near Lake Charles, Louisiana. He described Laura passing over his house with the roar of a jet engine around 2 a.m.

Let us hope that we will have at least a little bit of time before the next major crisis comes along.  Many had been hoping that August would be a quiet month, but that didn’t turn out to be the case, and now September is just a few days away.

And as we approach the fall season, it is being reported that wealthy investors have been “hoarding cash”

A group of multimillionaire investors in the U.S. are hoarding cash at unprecedented levels.

Tiger 21, a club of more than 800 investors, reported Thursday that its members have raised their cash holdings to 19% of their total assets on concerns over the economic consequences of the covid pandemic in the U.S. That’s up from about 12% since the start of the outbreak. About a quarter now expect the crisis to continue until the end of next June, the group said.

Is this a sign that many of them believe that trouble is ahead for the financial markets?

Of course it isn’t just the wealthy that are deeply concerned about the months ahead.  Our nation has been gripped by endless turmoil for most of this year, and now a very hotly contested presidential election is just over two months away.  Meanwhile, economic conditions will continue to deteriorate, and that means that tens of millions of Americans will become even more angry and even more frustrated.  If you believe that the U.S. is just going to snap out of all of this somehow and everything will turn out just fine in the end, then you simply do not understand the times in which we are living.

For so long we were warned that a “perfect storm” was coming, and now it is here.

And if you think that 2020 has been bad, just wait until you see what else is ahead.

***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.

17 Facts That Prove The U.S. Economy Is A Complete And Total Disaster Zone At This Point

If you know people that actually believe that the U.S. economy is moving in a positive direction, just show them this article.  In all the years that I have been writing about the economy, I have never seen anything that even comes close to what we are experiencing now.  More than 100,000 businesses have permanently failed, and tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs.  If you still have a good job you should cling to it with all of your might, because there are so many families that have no idea how they are going to pay the bills next month, or the month after that, or that month after that.  When it gets to the point where you can’t even pay the rent or the mortgage, financial worries can absolutely consume your life.  If you have been there, you know exactly what I am talking about.  And if you have children, that just makes things even worse.  How do you explain to them that “home” is no longer “home”?

Another group of people that I feel really badly for are all the business owners that have had their dreams absolutely shattered.  Starting a small business from nothing and building it into a success takes a massive amount of work, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone that is able to do that.

Unfortunately, so many once thriving small businesses have now been destroyed by the events of 2020.  For a lot of those small business owners, it isn’t just time and energy that have been lost.  When you make your small business your passion, it becomes a part of who you are, and a lot of small business owners will never be the same again after this.

So please keep in mind that there are real people and real dreams behind each of the numbers that I am about to share with you.  The following are 17 facts that prove the U.S. economy is a complete and total disaster zone at this point…

#1 According to the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, more than half of all the storefronts in the entire city of San Francisco are no longer in business.

#2 Just a few hours ago, New York City reported that it had an unemployment rate of almost 20 percent during the month of July.

#3 Speaking of New York, 83 percent of all restaurants in the city were unable to pay their full rent last month.

#4 In 2020, the state of Louisiana has lost twice as many jobs as it did after Hurricane Katrina.  By the way, many are concerned that Hurricane Laura could soon become a similar monster storm.

#5 In the state of South Carolina, an eye-popping 52 percent of all renters “are at risk of eviction”.

#6 Americans now owe more than 21 billion dollars in unpaid rent.

#7 Overall, 27 percent of all Americans did not make their rent or mortgage payment last month.

#8 According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the delinquency rate on residential mortgages increased by 386 basis points last quarter.  That was the most rapid rise that we have ever seen by a very wide margin.

#9 U.S. bankruptcies are already at their highest level in 10 years and they are expected to surge dramatically as we approach the end of this calendar year.

#10 For companies with more than 1 billion dollars in assets, it is being projected that there will be a record number of bankruptcies in 2020.

#11 World trade plunged to the “lowest levels on record” during the month of June.

#12 The percentage of hotel mortgages that are 30 or more days delinquent soared to a whopping 23.4 percent last month.

#13 American Airlines just announced that they will be eliminating 19,000 jobs next month.

#14 31 percent of U.S. workers that were brought back to work after being laid off during the early stages of this pandemic have been laid off a second time, and another 26 percent have been told that layoffs may be coming soon.

#15 According to one recent survey, about half of all U.S. workers that have been laid off during this pandemic believe that their jobs losses are permanent.

#16 The IRS is projecting that it will receive 37 million fewer W-2 forms for this year than originally anticipated.

#17 Over the last 22 weeks, more than 57 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits.  In all of U.S. history, we have never seen anything that is even worth comparing to this.

Many of the numbers in that list are so catastrophic that it is difficult to believe that they are actually true.

What we experienced back in 2008 and 2009 was a “deep recession”, but what we are experiencing now is so much worse.

And at this point even the mainstream media is admitting that this new downturn will be with us for a long time.  For example, the following comes from a CNN article entitled “We’ll be stuck in this economic slump for years, economists say”

America remains in a deep downturn and is running a serious risk of a worsening recession that will last at least another year, economists warned Monday.

About half of the National Association of Business Economics members expect US gross domestic product — the broadest measure of the economy — won’t return to its pre-pandemic level until 2022. A majority of those experts also say the US job market will be back to its February level in 2022 at the earliest.

Unfortunately, those projections are actually way too optimistic.  Industry after industry is in the process of unraveling, major economic bubbles are bursting all around us, and the economic pain that is on the horizon is going to dwarf what we are going through at this moment.

The mainstream media admits that a “collapse” has happened, but they still believe that eventually things will turn around and get back to where they were before.

And there are some people out there that actually believe that America’s greatest days of economic prosperity are still ahead of us.

You can go ahead and believe that if you want, and I definitely understand that many people would prefer to be optimistic about the future.

But sticking our heads in the sand won’t make the facts go away.  It has taken decades of catastrophic decisions to get us to this point, and anyone that thinks we can just snap our fingers and turn things around is just being delusional.

***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.

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.

Economic Nightmare: Nearly 50 Percent Of All The Jobs Lost During The COVID-19 Pandemic “May Be Gone Permanently”

When millions of Americans were losing their jobs at the beginning of this pandemic, we were told not to worry because the lockdowns were just temporary and virtually all of those workers would be going back to their old jobs once the lockdowns ended.  Well, now we are finding out that was not even close to true.  Over the last 18 weeks, more than 52 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and a very large percentage of them are dealing with a permanent job loss.  In fact, one brand new survey discovered that 47 percent of all unemployed workers now believe that their “job loss is likely to be permanent”.  The following comes from a USA Today article entitled “Almost half of all jobs lost during pandemic may be gone permanently”

In April, 78% of those in households experiencing job loss felt that that situation would be temporarily. But now, 47% think that job loss is likely to be permanent, according to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

What that number tells us is that we are facing the worst employment crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

All of those permanently unemployed workers are eventually going to need new jobs, but meanwhile the U.S. economy as a whole is in a free fall that is absolutely stunning.  On Thursday, we are scheduled to get the GDP number for the second quarter, and everyone is expecting that it will be really bad

Data due Thursday are forecast to show U.S. gross domestic product plummeted an annualized 34.8% in the second quarter, the most in records dating back to the 1940s, after the spread of Covid-19 prompted Americans to stay home and states to order widespread lockdowns.

This downturn has been particularly hard on small businesses.  Just check out these numbers

• Yelp reported 71,500 businesses that were listed on their site have closed for good since March 1.

• 80% of independent restaurants aren’t sure they’ll survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Nearly half of all small-business members of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce lost 100% of their sales or closed down completely.

What a nightmare.

But the third quarter was when the U.S. economy was supposed to come roaring back to life.

We were told that it would be the greatest economic comeback in our history, but instead the numbers are telling us that the economy is actually starting to slow down once again.

In fact, U.S. consumer confidence in July is much lower than it was in June…

U.S. CONSUMER confidence fell in July to a reading of 92.6 as coronavirus cases surged around the country, shuttering some bars and other businesses and raising concerns about the future of the economy.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that the index fell in July from a reading of 98.3 in June. The drop is more significant than economists predicted, and is due mainly to a decrease in consumers’ economic expectations for the short-term future.

In addition, we just witnessed the largest decline in wholesale inventories since the peak of the last financial crisis

June was supposed to be the month of second-derivative beats in economic data, reaffirming the manic bid in stocks. For Wholesale Inventories it was not.

Against expectations of a rebound from a 1.2% drop in May to a 0.5% drop in June, wholesale inventories actually tumbled 2.0% MoM, the worst since the peak of the great financial crisis…

So it doesn’t look like any sort of a “recovery” is happening.

Instead, it appears that we are sliding into the next chapter of this new economic depression.

In June, 19 percent of all U.S. small businesses were closed, but now that number is up to 24.5 percent.

That certainly isn’t progress.

With each passing day, more companies are announcing layoffs.  And every worker that gets laid off is another American that doesn’t have a paycheck to spend.  During the last recession, millions of Americans slid out of the middle class, and we are watching it happen again.

Our elected leaders in Washington are desperate to do something about this, and almost all of them seem to agree that more socialist programs are the answer.  A fifth “stimulus bill” is being put together, and the Urban Institute is warning that if Congress does not hurry we could see the poverty rate in this country rise substantially

Millions more Americans will be thrown into poverty if Congress fails to enact three policies meant to help families get through economic hardships related to the pandemic, according to a new study by the Urban Institute.

The report finds that the poverty rate for the last five months of 2020 will rise to 11.9% if expanded unemployment-insurance benefits, a second round of stimulus checks, and increased SNAP allotments are not approved, a significant increase over the projected annual rate of 8.9%.

If the Urban Institute thinks that an 11.9 percent poverty rate is bad, just wait until they see what things will be like in this country a few years from now.

Our entire system is in the process of melting down, but it will take some time for the drama that we are watching to fully play out.  Our leaders in Washington and the bureaucrats over at the Federal Reserve will keep flooding the system with money in a misguided attempt to fix things, and this will result in exceedingly painful inflation.

The cost of everything (including essentials such as food) will be going way up, and that means that your money will increasingly become less and less valuable.

If you could print your way to prosperity, Venezuela and Zimbabwe would be the wealthiest nations on the entire planet today.

At this point, almost everyone in Venezuela is a “millionaire”, but almost everyone is also living in extreme poverty.

History has shown that wildly printing money doesn’t work, but the U.S. is going down the exact same path, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Even though things are quite crazy out there right now, this is our window of opportunity to get prepared for the troubled times that are ahead, because things are not going to be getting any easier from here on out.

*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.

Is This The Lowest Point In Modern U.S. History?

Things have certainly gotten really crazy here in 2020.  First we witnessed the eruption of the worst global pandemic in 100 years, then the U.S. economy started collapsing, and then we watched major U.S. cities burn from coast to coast as rioting and looting spiraled out of control.  Everywhere you look, people are very angry and deeply frustrated, nearly 46 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits over the past few months, and fear of COVID-19 continues to paralyze our society to a frightening extent.  But can this really be called the lowest point in modern U.S. history?  According to one recent survey, a whopping 72 percent of all Americans actually believe that this “is the lowest point in the country’s history that they’ve ever been alive to see”…

Across two polls, more than 5,000 adult U.S. residents were recently surveyed on the state of America right now. A staggering 83% say that worrying about the future of the United States is a big source of personal stress. Also, 72% believe this is the lowest point in the country’s history that they’ve ever been alive to see.

That appears to be quite a consensus.

Of course many of those that were alive during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the early days of World War II would strongly argue that what we are experiencing today is nothing compared to what they had to deal with.

And without a doubt, the twelve years from 1968 to 1980 were not easy years by any stretch of the imagination.  Just like now, Americans of that era were facing great civil unrest, tremendous economic problems, major political shaking and a global pandemic that killed a lot of people.  If you don’t know about that pandemic, just Google “the flu pandemic of 1968”.

Having said all that, there is definitely a case to be made for 2020.  Not even during the Great Depression did we ever see the kind of apocalyptic spike in unemployment that we have witnessed this year.  Even though nearly 46 million Americans have already filed for unemployment benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic began, big firms continue to lay off thousands upon thousands of workers.  On top of that, more than 100,000 businesses have already permanently closed their doors, and Americans have already skipped payments on more than 100 million loans.

And as I explained the other day, the most severe pain from this economic downturn won’t even begin to hit us until about six weeks from now.

As emergency government assistance starts to fade, an increasing number of Americans will have a very difficult time keeping up with paying the bills.  In fact, another new survey has found that about half of all homeowners are “worried about making future mortgage payments”

New research offers a glimpse into struggling households, discovers out of the 2,000 American homeowners polled, over half (52%) of respondents say they’re routinely worried about making future mortgage payments and nearly half (47%) considered selling their home because of the inability to service mortgage payments.

The study, conducted by OnePoll and the National Association of Realtors, determined 81% of respondents had experienced unexpected financial stress due to the virus-induced recession. Over half (56%) reduced spending so they could service mortgage payments.

Meanwhile, fear of COVID-19 is going to continue to paralyze our society for the foreseeable future.

I don’t know if you have taken a look at the numbers lately, but the truth is that the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. is starting to surge again.  For the planet as a whole, Friday was the worst day of the pandemic so far by a very wide margin, and that means that this crisis is a long, long way from over.

There are already whispers that there may be new lockdowns here in the United States.  I seriously hope that does not happen, because that would be another crippling blow for our collapsing economy, and the virus just continued to spread during the first round of lockdowns anyway.

On top of everything else, more rioting, looting and violence could erupt at literally any moment.  Since this is an election year, tensions are going to be running even higher than usual, and even a relatively minor spark could cause another round of major civil unrest.

But as bad as things are right now, what most people don’t understand is that this is just the beginning.

As I have warned so many times before, we have entered a time when we are going to be facing one crisis after another, and this is going to be true no matter what happens during the election in November.

We have reached a moment in history when all of the cycles are ending, all of the bubbles are bursting, and we are going to experience the consequences of all the very foolish decisions that we have been making for decades.

At this point, the immediate outlook is so bleak that it is turning all sorts of people into raging pessimists.  For example, Wolf Richter just posted an article in which he explained why he just shorted the entire stock market

I’m sharing this trade so that everyone gets to ridicule me and hail me as a moron and have fun at my expense in the comments for weeks and months every time the market goes up. And I do not recommend shorting this market; it’s nuts. But here’s why I did.

The stock market had just gone through what was termed the “greatest 50-day rally in history.” The S&P 500 index had skyrocketed 47% from the intraday low on March 23 (2,192) to the close on June 8 (3,232). It was a blistering phenomenal rally. Since June 8, the market has gotten off track but not by much. It’s still a phenomenal rally. And it came during the worst economy in my lifetime.

I know that a lot of people will criticize him for making such a move, but I applaud him for his bravery.

Even if his timing turns out to be a bit early, I certainly concur with him that this latest Fed-fueled bubble will inevitably burst.

But ultimately we are going to be facing problems that are much more severe than a stock market crash.  In fact, a market crash will be among the least of our problems.

Because it isn’t just our economy that is collapsing.

Our entire society is in the process of imploding, and if you don’t like 2020, then you really aren’t going to like what is going to happen in 2021 and beyond.

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.

Americans Have Already Skipped Payments On More Than 100 Million Loans, And Job Losses Continue To Escalate

Those that have been hoping for some sort of a “V-shaped recovery” have had their hopes completely dashed.  U.S. workers continue to lose jobs at a staggering rate, and economic activity continues to remain at deeply suppressed levels all over the nation.  Of course this wasn’t supposed to happen now that states have been “reopening” their economies.  We were told that things would soon be getting back to normal and that the economic numbers would rebound dramatically.  But that is not happening.  In fact, the number of Americans that filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week was much higher than expected

Weekly jobless claims stayed above 1 million for the 13th consecutive week as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hammer the U.S. economy.

First-time claims totaled 1.5 million last week, higher than the 1.3 million that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting. The government report’s total was 58,000 lower than the previous week’s 1.566 million, which was revised up by 24,000.

To put this in perspective, let me once again remind my readers that prior to this year the all-time record for a single week was just 695,000.  So even though more than 44 million Americans had already filed initial claims for unemployment benefits before this latest report, there were still enough new people losing jobs to more than double that old record from 1982.

That is just astounding.  We were told that the economy would be regaining huge amounts of jobs by now, but instead job losses remain at a catastrophic level that is unlike anything that we have ever seen before in all of U.S. history.

With the addition of this latest number, a grand total of nearly 46 million Americans have now filed initial claims for unemployment benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

If you can read that statement and still believe that the U.S. economy is not imploding, I would like to know what you are smoking, because it must be pretty powerful.

Some of the things that we are seeing happen around the country right now are absolutely nuts.  For example, earlier this week in Kentucky it was being reported that people were waiting in line for up to 8 hours to talk with a state official face to face about their unprocessed unemployment claims…

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

By now, the U.S. economy was supposed to be roaring back to life and we were supposed to be entering a new golden age of American prosperity.

Unfortunately, the truth is that more bad economic news is hitting us on a continual basis, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.

Over the past few days, we have learned that Hilton is laying off 22 percent of its corporate staff, and AT&T has announced that it will be eliminating 3,400 jobs and closing 250 stores…

The wireless carrier AT&T is cutting 3,400 jobs and shutting down 250 stores over the next few weeks, according to a statement from the Communications Workers of America, a union representing AT&T workers.

The AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless retail closures will affect 1,300 jobs, while the other layoffs are said to be affecting technical and clerical workers.

Needless to say, all of these job losses are having a tremendous ripple effect throughout the economy.

Without paychecks coming in, a lot of Americans are having a really tough time paying their bills, and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that payments have already been skipped on more than 100 million loans…

Americans have skipped payments on more than 100 million student loans, auto loans and other forms of debt since the coronavirus hit the U.S., the latest sign of the toll the pandemic is taking on people’s finances.

The number of accounts that enrolled in deferment, forbearance or some other type of relief since March 1 and remain in such a state rose to 106 million at the end of May, triple the number at the end of April, according to credit-reporting firm TransUnion.

Wow.

To me, that is an almost unimaginable number, and it has become clear that a tremendous amount of pain is ahead for the financial institutions that are holding these loans.

A lot of people out there are going to keep hoping that there will be some sort of an economic rebound, but the cold, hard reality of the matter is that fear of COVID-19 is going to keep a large segment of the population from resuming normal economic activities for the foreseeable future.  And it certainly doesn’t help that the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has been steadily rising over the past couple of weeks and that the mainstream media has been endlessly warning that a “second wave” is coming.

If you doubt what I am saying, just look at what is happening to the restaurant industry.  We had started to see a small bit of improvement in the numbers, but now fear of a “second wave” has caused restaurant traffic to start cratering again

After three months of slow but consistent improvement in restaurant dining data in the US and across the globe, in its latest update on “the state of the restaurant industry”, OpenTable today reported the biggest drop in seated restaurant diners (from online, phone and walk-in reservations) since the depth of the global shutdown in March.

As shown in the OpenTable graphic below, on Sunday, June 14, restaurant traffic suddenly tumbled, sliding from a -66.5% y/y decline as of June 13 to -78.8% globally.

This was mostly due to a sharp drop in US restaurant diners, which plunged by 13% – from -65% to -78% – the biggest one day drop since the start of the shutdown in the US, and the second biggest one day drop on record.

Business travel is another area where we are seeing signs of big trouble ahead.  The following comes from Yves Smith

Business travel is not coming back any time soon. People are getting accustomed to Zoom. And word may also get out that domestic flying is much worse than it used to be, which will be a deterrent to those who might be so bold as to want to get on a plane. That is a fundamental blow to airlines, airport vendors, hotels, restaurants, and convention centers. Hotel occupancy in April was 24.5% which if anything seems high based on my personal datapoints. The pricings I see say that hotel operators are not expecting much if any improvement through the summer.

Like many of you, I wish that economic conditions would go back to the way they used to be, but that simply is not going to happen.

Yes, we will see economic numbers go up and down over the coming months, but a return to “the good times” is not in the cards.

And what hardly anyone realizes is that this is just the beginning of our problems, and I am working on a new project right now which will explain why this is true in great detail.

So stay tuned, because things are about to get really, really “interesting”.

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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