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.

The Economic Numbers That Are Coming Are “Going To Be The Worst In The Post-World War II Era”

We just witnessed the largest quarterly GDP decline since the last financial crisis, and experts are warning that the figure for the second quarter will be far, far worse.  In fact, as you will see below, one expert is telling us to brace ourselves for the worst economic numbers “in the post-World War II era”.  On an annualized basis, U.S. GDP fell by 4.8 percent during the first quarter, and that was a bit worse than most economists were projecting.  And economists were also surprised that consumer spending was down 7.6 percent and business investment was down 8.6 percent during January, February and March.  Under normal circumstances, those would be absolutely horrible numbers, but these are not normal circumstances.  Yes, January and February were relatively normal, but the coronavirus shutdowns began in March and that is why these numbers are so dismal.

Unfortunately, it looks like the economic numbers for the second quarter are going to be much more depressing.  One economist that was interviewed by the New York Times believes that they will actually be the worst that our nation has seen since the end of the Second World War…

“They’re going to be the worst in our lifetime,” Dan North, chief economist for the credit insurance company Euler Hermes North America, said of the second-quarter figures. “They’re going to be the worst in the post-World War II era.”

And at this point even the Trump administration is publicly admitting that the economic numbers are going to start getting really, really bad.  On Monday, Kevin Hassett actually told CNBC that U.S. GDP could fall by up to 30 percent on an annualized basis during the second quarter…

On Monday morning, the White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett warned the second quarter could reflect a 20 to 30 percent decline – something that has not been seen since the 1930s Great Depression.

‘You’re looking at something like minus 20 percent to minus 30 percent in the second quarter. It’s a very grave shock and it’s something we need to take seriously,’ he told CNBC.

But we don’t have to wait until three months from now for numbers that are truly horrific.

On Wednesday, we learned that U.S. home sales in March were down by double digits in every region on the country

Signed contracts to purchase existing homes, referred to as pending home sales, fell 20.8% compared with February and were 16.3% lower annually, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Regionally, pending sales fell 14.5% in the Northeast for the month and were 11% lower than a year ago. In the Midwest, sales decreased 22% monthly and 12.4% annually. In the South sales dropped 19.5% for the week and 17.8% annually, and in the West they fell 26.8% weekly and 21.5% compared with a year ago.

Some states are attempting to gradually “reopen” their economies, and that is good news.

But the bad news is that officials are telling us that all of the restrictions in big states such as California and New York will not be lifted until many months from now, and that is going to greatly depress economic activity for the foreseeable future.

With economic activity so low, companies all over America are laying off workers at a staggering rate.  More than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs so far, and the layoffs just keep on rolling.  For example, we just learned that Uber is planning to let thousands of employees go

Executives at Uber are discussing plans to cut around 20% of the company’s employees, as it copes with a sharp decline in its ride-hailing business due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Information.

Layoffs of that magnitude, which haven’t been finalized but could be announced in stages in the coming weeks, could result in more than 5,400 of Uber’s 27,000 employees losing their jobs.

Of course it isn’t just the United States that is facing an unprecedented unemployment crisis.

According to the International Labour Organization, close to half of all the workers in the world “are in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods”…

Some 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy, representing nearly half of the global labour force, are in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday.

The U.N. agency’s latest report sharply raised its forecast for the devastating impact on jobs and incomes of the COVID-19 disease, which has infected more than 3.1 million people globally, killed nearly 220,000 and shut down economies.

This is one of the biggest reasons why lockdowns all over the globe need to be ended as quickly as possible.  If people are not allowed to make a living, they aren’t going to have anything to feed their families.

Even in the United States, we have already seen an explosion of need that is absolutely shocking.  All over the country, people have been lining up for miles to get whatever food that local food banks are able to give them, and we witnessed more examples of this growing phenomenon on Tuesday

Masses of cars waited in line for the drive-thru food giveaway in Pico Rivera, California, as volunteers sporting face masks, gloves and high-vis jackets helped dish out supplies.

Over in Prospect, vehicles were seen snaking through the Big Butler Fairgrounds. It comes as millions of people across America lose their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic and households have been thrown into turmoil.

If things are this bad already, what is this nation going to look like as we get even deeper into “the perfect storm”?

In recent days I have been writing quite a bit about the coming “meat shortage” that the mainstream media has been warning about, and now we are being told that a serious shortage of boneless chicken is already upon us

Goodbye, boneless chicken.

Food retailers across North America are swapping boneless chicken legs for less popular thighs and drumsticks as a wave of shutdowns at meatpacking plants has reduced supplies of sought-after cuts.

As I discussed yesterday, President Trump has decided to order meat processing facilities that were closed down because of COVID-19 to reopen, and many are hoping that this move will put a quick end to the shortages.

But on Wednesday the mainstream media was full of stories about how meat processing workers may decide to defy President Trump and refuse to go back to work…

Meat-processing plant workers are concerned about President Donald Trump’s executive order that compels plants to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. Meat plant employees are among America’s most vulnerable workers, and some say they expect staff will refuse to come to work.

“All I know is, this is crazy to me, because I can’t see all these people going back into work,” said Donald, who works at Tyson’s Waterloo, Iowa, facility. “I don’t think people are going to go back in there.”

If fear of COVID-19 keeps a substantial percentage of workers from returning to their jobs, that could cause the emerging meat shortages to get even worse in the weeks ahead.

Of course fear of the coronavirus is paralyzing many sectors of our economy right now, and that is not going to end any time soon.

So we should expect really dismal economic numbers for the foreseeable future, and it appears exceedingly unlikely that there will be any sort of a turnaround before the election in November.

America’s next economic depression has begun, and it is going to be really, really painful.

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.

Millions Of Of Pigs, Chickens And Cattle Are Being Euthanized While The Media Warns “Shortages” Are Coming

More than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs during these coronavirus lockdowns so far, and this has created unprecedented demand at food banks all over the nation.  In many cities, vehicles start lining up at the food banks at the crack of dawn, and in some instances the lines have literally stretched for miles.  But at the same time, farmers all over America have been dumping millions of gallons of milk, disposing of millions of pounds of fresh vegetables, and putting farm animals to death at a rate that we have never seen before.  In fact, Reuters is reporting that “millions of pigs, chickens and cattle will be euthanized” because they can’t be sold.  Unlike other parts of the globe, we actually have plenty of food right now, but we can’t get much of that food to the people because so many food processing facilities have been shut down due to fear of COVID-19.

What we are witnessing is nothing short of a tragedy.  Even though there are so many needy families all across America at this time, so many farmers are being forced to waste what they have produced because food distribution pipelines have been brought to a standstill.  The following is how Forbes is describing the current state of affairs.

Dairy farmers are trying to decide between dumping their milk and selling their dairy cows for beef. Contract chicken growers on the Eastern Shore have been asked to “depopulate” nearly 2 million chickens. Hog farmers in Iowa and Minnesota are starting to euthanize their pigs. For contract and cooperative farmers—producers in the food system who are obligated to a larger entity—the options are limited.

I have a feeling that we are going to end up deeply regretting letting so many resources go to waste during this time.

In Iowa piglets are being aborted by the thousands, in Minnesota tens of thousands of chickens are being gassed to death, and in Wisconsin farmers have been pouring countless gallons of good milk on to the ground.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media is breathlessly warning us that “shortages” are coming.

With food processing plants closing all over the nation, our choices are going to become a lot more limited, and Tyson Foods is openly admitting that “millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain”

Tyson Foods is facing a new set of challenges. In small communities around the country where we employ over 100,000 hard-working men and women, we’re being forced to shutter our doors. This means one thing – the food supply chain is vulnerable. As pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain. As a result, there will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed.

And Smithfield Foods has also released a very ominous statement

“During this pandemic, our entire industry is faced with an impossible choice: continue to operate to sustain our nation’s food supply or shutter in an attempt to entirely insulate our employees from risk,” Smithfield Foods, the largest global pork producer owned by the Chinese WH Group, said in a statement on Friday. “It’s an awful choice; it’s not one we wish on anyone.”

“It is impossible to keep protein on tables across America if our nation’s meat plants are not running. Across the animal protein industry, closures can have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions up and down the supply chain,” the statement said. “Beyond the implications to our food supply, our entire agricultural community is in jeopardy. Farmers have nowhere to send their animals and could be forced to euthanize livestock, effectively burying food in the ground. We have a stark choice as a nation: we are either going to produce food or not, even in the face of COVID-19.”

Ultimately, these big corporations are scared to death of being sued into oblivion by their workers if they stay open during this pandemic, and so that is why it is going to be necessary for the federal government to step in.

President Trump has the authority to order meat processing facilities to stay open, and apparently that is exactly what he plans to do

President Donald Trump plans to order meat-processing plants to remain open as the nation confronts growing food-supply disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak, a person familiar with the matter said.

Trump plans to use the Defense Production Act to order the companies to stay open as critical infrastructure, and the government will provide additional protective gear for employees as well as guidance, according to the person.

This should greatly help matters, and I wish that it had been done sooner.

But for the economy as a whole, the outlook continues to be very bleak.  Fear of the coronavirus is going to keep many Americans from resuming normal activities for a long time to come, and that is going to absolutely paralyze economic activity.  If you doubt this, check out the results of this new poll

Fewer than half of Americans plan to go to sports events, concerts, movies and amusement parks when they reopen to the public until there is a proven coronavirus vaccine, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.

That includes those who have attended such events in the past, an ominous sign for the sports and entertainment industries hoping to return to the spotlight after being shut down by the pandemic.

I was deeply alarmed when I read that.

There has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus in all of human history, and so those that are waiting for one may be waiting for a very, very long time.

Meanwhile, economic suffering is going to continue to escalate all over the nation.  In Arkansas, people were lining up at 5:30 AM on Tuesday at a food bank in the Little Rock area, and all of the food “was gone within an hour and a half”

The Arkansas Foodbank planned to hand out food for four hours on Tuesday, but the demand was so high that all the food was gone within an hour and a half, the charity said.

Cars lined up at the Outlets of Little Rock mall, which hosted the event, as early as 5:30 a.m., when the food bank’s workers arrived to unload the trucks, Arkansas Foodbank CEO Rhonda Sanders said.

Everything that I have been warning about for so long is starting to happen, and this country is heading for incredibly challenging times.

Hopefully Trump’s executive order will be implemented smoothly and all of the meat processing plants will be forced to reopen.

But this is yet another example that shows how vulnerable our supply chains really are, and one has to wonder how we will fare when an even greater crisis comes along.

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.

Are You Ready For The Great Depression Of The 2020s?

For those of you that were expecting just a “deep recession”, I am afraid that you are going to be very disappointed.  It took years for the U.S. economy to fully unravel in the 1930s, but now we have witnessed a similar level of economic devastation in just a matter of weeks.  More than 26 million Americans have already lost their jobs, economic activity has come to a standstill, people are lining up for miles at food banks all over the nation, and businesses are being permanently shuttered at a staggering pace.  But the good news is that some states will attempt to “reopen” their economies in the weeks ahead.  In most instances, there will be several stages before all of the restrictions are finally lifted, and that means that economic suffering will be stretched out for an extended period of time.  And of course if cases and deaths start spiking again we could see another wave of strict lockdowns all over the country, and needless to say that would greatly escalate this economic downturn.

At this moment, so many hard working people all over America are deeply hurting.

I personally know people that have lost their jobs, and you probably do too.  And because virtually nobody is hiring right now, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for newly unemployed workers to find other jobs.

Because it has an economy that is so dependent on the entertainment industry, Nevada is being hit particularly hard by this downturn.  The New York Times spoke to one Nevada resident named Valicia Anderson, and she hardly knows anyone that is still actually working

When Valicia Anderson starts to count the people she knows in Las Vegas who have lost their jobs, she runs out of fingers fast.

Her husband, the breadwinner of her family and a restaurant worker in the Rio casino. All 25 of his co-workers. Her grown son, in a temp agency. The technician who does her nails. The barber who cuts her husband’s hair. Her best friend, a waitress. The three servers and a manager at the TGI Friday’s that is her family’s favorite treat.

It has been estimated that the current unemployment rate in the state is “about 25 percent”, and that number is almost certainly going to go higher in the months ahead.

Down in Texas, they are also dealing with an oil crash at the same time that they are wrestling with this coronavirus pandemic, and this has created the worst budget crisis that the city of Houston has ever seen

On the same day that the price for U.S. crude oil fell to about $30 below zero — a mind-bending concept and the first time oil prices had ever turned negative — Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, the self-proclaimed energy capital of the world, stood before reporters. His words were grim and muffled by the black mask covering his face.

The mayor announced that city employees would soon be furloughed, but he declined to say how many. The Houston Zoo, he said, could expect to see funding deferred under what he called “the worst budget that the city will deal with in its history.”

The high paying energy industry jobs that fueled an incredible real estate boom in Texas are now disappearing by the thousands, and it is being reported that many of those that are being laid off are learning the news “during painful Zoom sessions from home”

Thousands of energy workers, some of whom only lately moved to the region to take advantage of the recent prosperity, have been laid off. Many of them were told the bad news during painful Zoom sessions from home.

Warning letters from energy companies have been flooding the Texas Workforce Commission about layoffs and furloughs: 3,500 at Halliburton, 223 at Tenaris, 184 at Baker Hughes, 102 at Diamond Offshore Drilling, 95 at Energy Transfer.

By the way, when did Zoom become such a big thing?

It seems like so many people are using it now, and I don’t understand why it is so popular.

Perhaps my readers will help me to understand this.

Getting back to the economy, at this point even the Trump administration is admitting that the unemployment rate will soon be approaching levels that “we saw during the Great Depression”

White House senior advisor Kevin Hassett says US economy is in “grave situation” and the unemployment rate could be hitting the same numbers seen during the Great Depression due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re going to be looking at an unemployment rate that approaches rates that I think we saw during the Great Depression,” Hassett told ABC’ ‘The Week’ on Sunday.

Let’s put that into perspective for a moment.

During the last recession, we thought that things were really, really bad when the unemployment rate got up to about 10 percent.

But back in 1933 the unemployment rate peaked at 25 percent, and now we are being told that we should expect something similar here in 2020.

Wow.

And of course low income Americans are being hit harder than anyone else.  Just check out these numbers

Most Americans support stay-at-home restrictions to protect public health. And yet the burden of the country’s shutdown is disproportionately falling on those least prepared to handle it: About 52 percent of low-income Americans say they or someone in their household has experienced job upheaval, compared to 43 percent of the broader adult population, the Pew Research Center found. Only 23 percent of low-income Americans say they have enough emergency funds to last them three months.

Hopefully as some states attempt “reopenings” it will help to slow down this enormous tsunami of unemployment.

But as I pointed out the other day, millions of Americans are now making much more money being unemployed than they did when they were working, and so that is going to provide an incentive for millions of Americans to stay unemployed for the foreseeable future.

And even if all of the coronavirus restrictions in the entire country were lifted tomorrow, fear of the coronavirus would cause economic activity to be greatly depressed for many months to come.

As I discussed yesterday, the meat processing industry is a perfect example of this.  Meat processing facilities are being shut down all over the nation, and one expert just told NBC News that we should expect shortages of meat in our grocery stores “around May 1″…

Beef, chicken and pork could be as scarce as toilet paper soon because so many meat processing plants have been temporarily shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, industry experts are warning.

“We’ve just completed our third week of reduced slaughter and production,” Dennis Smith, a commodity broker/livestock analyst with Archer Financial Services in Chicago, said. “My guess is that about one week out, perhaps around May 1, shortages will begin developing at retail meat counters.”

So many of the things that we have been warning about for a long time are starting to happen, but most Americans still do not grasp the seriousness of this crisis.

All of the economic dominoes are starting to fall, and even if the remainder of this pandemic goes much more smoothly than anticipated, it will not fundamentally alter our current economic trajectory.

The “Everything Bubble” lasted far longer than it should have, but now that it has burst the pain is going to be absolutely immense.

And it is those at the bottom of the economic food chain that are going to be hit the hardest.

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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