The number of Americans that have filed for unemployment benefits in 2020 exceeds the number that voted for Trump in 2016

I am not trying to make a political statement with this article.  I am simply pointing out that the number of Americans that have filed initial claims for unemployment benefits in 2020 is almost unimaginable.  In 2016, a total of 62,984,828 votes were cast for Donald Trump.  Here in 2020, a total of 63,600,000 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits since the middle of March.  So the number of Americans that have filed for unemployment during this pandemic is now greater than the number of Trump voters in the last election.  Of course if Hillary Clinton had won in 2016, we would be saying the exact same thing about her in a couple of weeks.  Back in 2016, she received a grand total of 65,853,514 votes.  The point is not to assign political blame to one side or the other, because neither side knew that COVID-19 was coming.  Rather, I am trying to get my readers to understand that we have witnessed a collapse in employment during this pandemic that is absolutely unprecedented.

And more layoff announcements keep rolling in with each passing day.  For instance, we just learned that ESPN will be laying off hundreds of workers

ESPN could lay off hundreds of employees in the coming weeks, sources told Front Office Sports.

One source pegged the potential number of job losses between 300 and 700 employees. Another estimated 400 possible lost jobs.

The cuts are expected to hit hardest among ESPN employees who work behind the camera.

For many, working in sports television is a dream job, and it hurts me to think that many of those employees will soon lose jobs that they truly love.

Elsewhere, Amtrak has just announced that they could soon be eliminating 2,400 more jobs

Amtrak will need to cut 2,400 more jobs and could see “drastic impacts” on its rail service if Congress does not intervene and provide emergency funding for the passenger rail provider, the company announced Thursday.

In a letter to lawmakers, Amtrak President and CEO William Flynn requested nearly $4.9 billion in fiscal year 2021 to help it close massive budget gaps it faces amid the pandemic.

I know that I am probably boring my readers by discussing layoff announcements day after day after day, but I am trying to make a very important point.

We are not in any sort of a “recovery”.  Instead, we have entered a horrifying economic downturn which isn’t going to end any time soon.

If they actually believed that it was going to end soon, all of these big corporations would not be laying off large numbers of workers.

And without jobs, a whole lot of people out there are deeply, deeply suffering.

Right now, millions upon millions of Americans haven’t been paying rent, haven’t been paying their mortgages, haven’t been making their vehicle payments and haven’t been making their credit card payments.

And I was absolutely stunned to learn that payments are being made on only 11 percent of federal student loans right now…

Less than 11% of people with federal student loans are repaying them during the pandemic, according to data analyzed by higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz. That means about 4.6 million out of 42 million borrowers are continuing to pay down their debt.

Eventually the federal government will be requiring everyone to start making their payments again, but for now this break is helping a lot of people get through this very challenging time.

But when will this challenging time finally be over?

After the election?

In 2021?

So many Americans are looking forward to having economic conditions return to “normal”, but the truth is that our entire system is in the process of melting down and things are never going to be as good as they once were.

For decades, we enjoyed an unprecedented bubble of debt-fueled prosperity that allowed us to have a massively inflated standard of living, but now that bubble is bursting.

But for the moment, there is still one bubble that has stubbornly refused to end.  Thanks to the Federal Reserve, stock prices continue to go up even in the midst of this economic depression, and this has made the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us wider than ever before

The poorest 50 percent of Americans, or roughly 165 million people, collectively owned about $2.08 trillion in wealth in the second quarter of 2020, according to Federal Reserve data released last week.

That’s less than the net worth of the nation’s 59 richest billionaires, who have a combined fortune of about $2.09 trillion, Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index shows — a number that’s grown this year despite the COVID-19 crisis kneecapping the global economy.

Just think about that.

59 Americans have as much wealth as the 165,000,000 poorest Americans combined.

And overall, billionaires around the world are now worth more than 10 trillion dollars

Billionaire wealth reached record high levels amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a report by UBS and PwC found, as a rally in stock prices and gains in technology and healthcare helped the wealth of the world’s richest break the $10 trillion mark.

The report, covering over 2,000 billionaires representing some 98% of the cohort’s total wealth, found billionaire wealth grew by more than a quarter during the early months of the pandemic to reach $10.2 trillion in July, breaking the previous record of $8.9 trillion at the end of 2019.

Meanwhile, Americans are lining up for miles to get handouts at food banks all over the nation, and it is being projected that more than 50 million Americans will soon not have enough food to eat on a regular basis.

But the mainstream media is going to continue to try to put a happy face on things.  In fact, they are telling us that “stocks will probably rise no matter who wins the presidential election”, and that has to be music to the ears of most wealthy investors.

Of course it is just a matter of time before a day of reckoning comes for those wealthy investors too.

I believe that the months ahead are going to represent a major turning point for our country.  Millions of Americans will have their hopes brutally crushed by the outcome of this upcoming election, and millions of others will be plunged into despair as our nation continues to be rocked by one major crisis after another.

If your life is defined by the system that the elite have created, the times that are approaching are going to be exceedingly difficult for you because that system is failing.

But if you choose to live for the things that really matter, you won’t be overwhelmed no matter how bad things get.

And as bad as things are right now, the truth is that all of this is nothing compared to what is eventually coming.

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

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.  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)  By purchasing the books 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.  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.

If You Feel Like Something Really, Really Bad Is About To Happen, You Are Definitely Not Alone

If this is “the recovery”, what are things going to look like once economic conditions start to deteriorate again?  As you will see below, more than half of all households in some of our largest cities “are facing serious financial problems”, and Americans continue to file for unemployment benefits at a rate that the United States had never seen before prior to 2020.  When 695,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits during a single week in 1982, it established a record which stood for nearly 38 years.  But now we have been way above that old record for 25 weeks in a row.  On Thursday, we learned that another 884,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

Weekly jobless claims were worse than expected last week amid a plodding climb for the U.S. labor market from the damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Labor Department on Thursday reported 884,000 first-time filings for unemployment insurance, compared with 850,000 expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The total was unchanged from the previous week.

Of course it is always important to look at the non-adjusted numbers, and according to those numbers we actually saw an increase over the previous week

The Labor Department changed its methodology in how it seasonally adjusts the numbers, so the past two weeks’ totals are not directly comparable to the reports from earlier in the pandemic. Claims not adjusted for seasonal factors totaled 857,148, an increase of 20,140 from the previous week.

This is the second week in a row that the non-seasonally adjusted initial claims have risen.

That definitely wasn’t supposed to happen.

We are supposedly in a “recovery” right now, and things are supposed to be getting better.

But instead they appear to be getting worse.  According to Wolf Richter, continuing claims under all state and federal programs were way up last week…

Total continued claims for unemployment insurance (UI) under all state and federal programs rose by 380,000, to 29.6 million people (not seasonally adjusted), the highest since August 1, according to the Department of Labor this morning. This was the second weekly increase in a row, after the 2.2-million jump last week.

At any other time in American history, the numbers that were just reported would be considered “catastrophic”, but we have been getting these sorts of catastrophic numbers for so long that we have become desensitized to them.

But at least the unemployment numbers are not as bad as they were earlier this year, and other economic figures seem to have hit a bit of a plateau as well.

So for the moment there is relative calm, but it won’t last for very long.

If you feel like something really, really bad is about to happen, you are definitely not alone.  There are countless others that are also waiting for “the other shoe to drop”, and I believe that it could literally happen at any time.

But for now we wait.

I would encourage you to enjoy these remaining days of summer while you still can.  This weekend, put some burgers on the grill and enjoy some time with your family.  Unfortunately, there are many Americans that are under such financial stress that it is hard to enjoy much of anything right now.  In fact, one recent survey found that 50 percent or more of the households in some of our largest cities are currently facing “serious financial problems”

There’s no question the coronavirus pandemic has forced many Americans into financial hardship, but a new NPR/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey provided a clearer picture of the extent of the struggles in the United States’ four largest cities.

At least half of all households in those cities — 53 percent in New York City, 56 percent in Los Angeles, 50 percent in Chicago, and 63 percent in Houston — reported facing serious financial problems, including depleted savings, problems paying credit card bills, and affording medical bills.

How can that be possible if we are in the midst of a tremendous “recovery”?

Of course the truth is that we aren’t in any sort of a recovery, but at least things are a whole lot better than they will be after the upcoming election.

I had such an ominous feeling coming into 2020, and I shared this repeatedly with my readers, and now I have such an ominous feeling about the rest of 2020 and beyond.

In particular, I am extremely concerned about what will happen in November.  No matter who is ultimately declared the winner, the other side is going to be convinced that the election was stolen from them and that is likely to throw our nation into a state of chaos.

And we are already being told that we probably will not know the winner until long after election day.  That period of uncertainty is almost certainly going to spark more civil unrest, and I believe that faith in the integrity of our elections will be greatly shaken.

Before I end this article, there is one more thing that I wanted to mention that I found to be extremely interesting.  This year the Federal Reserve has been buying up mortgage bonds worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and according to Mish Shedlock the Fed now owns nearly a third of that entire market…

  • The Fed has snapped up $1 trillion of mortgage bonds since March. It bought around $300 billion of the bonds in each of March and April, and since then has been buying about $100 billion a month.
  • The Fed now owns almost a third of bonds backed by home loans in the U.S.
  • Buying the securities has pushed mortgage rates lower, with the average 30-year rate falling to 2.91% as of last week from 3.3% in early February.
  • Morgan Stanley analysts pointed out in late March that the buying was running at eight times the pace seen in prior episodes of Fed purchasing under programs known as quantitative easing.

No matter who wins the election, the direction of the Fed is not going to change.  They are going to continue to engage in exceedingly reckless manipulation of the markets, and that is going to have very serious long-term implications.

All around us, we can see our society being thrown into convulsions as all of our systems begin to fail.

I know that so many of you out there are feeling the exact same way that I am.

A sense of anticipation hangs in the air, and millions of people are waiting for the next big crisis to erupt.

***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.

Unemployment Claims Spike Again As We Get More Scientific Evidence The Middle Class Is Shrinking

Despair And Unemployment - Public DomainAs the U.S. economy slows down, we would expect to start to see evidence of this in the employment numbers, and that is precisely what has begun to happen.  During the week before last, initial claims for unemployment benefits jumped by 17,000, which was the largest increase that we had seen in over a year.  Well, last week we witnessed an even bigger spike.  Seasonally adjusted initial claims shot up 20,000 more to a total of 294,000.  Of course it makes perfect sense that more Americans are applying for unemployment benefits, because firms are laying people off at a much faster pace these days.  Just a couple days ago I reported that job cut announcements at major firms are running 24 percent higher this year compared to the first four months of last year.  So we should fully expect that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits will continue to accelerate.

Personally, I am a bit surprised by how quickly these numbers are getting worse.  The following comes directly from the Department of Labor

In the week ending May 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 294,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 274,000. This is the highest level for initial claims since February 28, 2015 when it was 310,000. The 4-week moving average was 268,250, an increase of 10,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 258,000.

For a long time, initial claims for unemployment benefits were running quite low, and this was one of the few bright spots for the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, that is now changing, and this is just more confirmation that a significant economic slowdown has already started.  For many more numbers that back up this claim, please see my previous article entitled “11 Signs That The U.S. Economy Is Rapidly Deteriorating Even As The Stock Market Soars“.

But whether the economy has been doing good or bad in recent years, the long-term trend of the decline of the middle class in America has continued unabated.

This week, we got even more evidence that the middle class is steadily disappearing from the Pew Research Center

The American middle class is losing ground in metropolitan areas across the country, affecting communities from Boston to Seattle and from Dallas to Milwaukee. From 2000 to 2014 the share of adults living in middle-income households fell in 203 of the 229 U.S. metropolitan areas examined in a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. The decrease in the middle-class share was often substantial, measuring 6 percentage points or more in 53 metropolitan areas, compared with a 4-point drop nationally.

Do you understand what that is saying?

It says that the middle class got smaller in 203 out of 229 U.S. metropolitan areas between 2000 and 2014.  This means that the death of the middle class is very widespread and it is happening all over the country.

But it isn’t just the middle class that is suffering.  According to that same report, household incomes have been falling for Americans in all income brackets…

American households in all income tiers experienced a decline in their incomes from 1999 to 2014. Nationally, the median income of middle-income households decreased from $77,898 in 1999 to $72,919 in 2014, a loss of 6%. The median incomes of lower-income and upper-income households fell by 10% and 7%, respectively, over this period.

The systematic evisceration of the middle class has been a continuing theme that I have been writing about for many years.  And without a doubt, one of the biggest reasons for the decline of the middle class has been the disappearance of middle class jobs.

Thanks to “free trade agreements” that have been pushed by Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the U.S. economy has been steadily merged into the emerging one world economic system.  As a result, U.S. workers are now forced to directly compete for jobs with workers on the other side of the planet that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.

It was inevitable that good paying jobs would leave areas where labor was expensive and go to places were labor was very cheap.  Over the past couple of decades, the U.S. has seen tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities shut down and we have lost millions of middle class jobs.

One of those middle class jobs was lost by a factory worker named Wendell Nolen

Wendell Nolen, 52, has experienced the slide from middle-class status first-hand. Eight years ago, he was earning $28 an hour as a factory worker for Detroit’s American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings, assembling axles for pickup trucks and SUVs.

But early in 2008, the good life unraveled. After a three-month strike, Nolen took a buyout rather than a pay cut. Less than a year later, the plant was closed and American Axle shipped much of its work to Mexico.

Now Nolen makes $17 an hour in the shipping department of a Detroit steel fabricator, about 40 percent less than he made at the axle plant.

America is losing jobs because of the free trade stuff,’ Nolen said. ‘They’re selling America out.’

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

If you step back and take a longer-term view of things, what has happened to our middle class is abolutely staggering.

For example, one study found that the middle class in America became a minority last year for the first time in our history.

And if you go back to 1970, the middle class took home close to 62 percent of all income, but today that number has dropped to just 43 percent.

This is a problem that has been crying out for a solution for a very long time, and yet our politicians have been sitting on their hands.

Now the next crisis is here, and the plight of the middle class is about to get a whole lot worse.

For months, my regular readers have been listening to me go on and on about how the U.S. economy is deteriorating, but now even the mainstream media is saying it.

For example, a Bloomberg article that just came out admits that “the next president will probably face a recession” no matter who wins the election…

Talk about a poisoned chalice. No matter who is elected to the White House in November, the next president will probably face a recession.

And an article that was just published by CNBC is even more pessimistic about the economy…

We are in the midst of a deceleration in the economy, and the chain of dominoes leading to a recession has started to fall. First, it was a weak global economy. Then, multinationals and business-to-business companies were hit by the resulting decline in global trade and commodity prices. Now, consumers are starting to feel the repercussions as they draw down their growth in spending on discretionary goods and services, which we saw reflected in the first-quarter GDP report.

This is the foreshadowing of a recession. We saw similar indicators prior to recessions in 2001 and 2008. Although there is potential for economic indicators to flip, the current momentum and indicators suggest that the U.S. economy will get worse before it gets better.

This is precisely what I have been saying.  The exact same indicators that told us that recessions were coming in 2001 and 2008 have been flashing bright red, but most people don’t seem to understand what is happening.

It doesn’t matter how much faith you may have in Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.  None of them can stop what is already in the process of happening.

Without a doubt, we truly are “in the midst of a deceleration in the economy”, and it is most certainly true that “the next president will probably face a recession”.

In fact, we would be exceedingly fortunate if it is just a recession that we will be dealing with.

The largest and most important economy on the planet is teetering on the brink, and it is not going to take much to push us into a full-blown disaster.

So let us hope for some sort of economic miracle to take place, because we could really use one right about now.

19 Signs Of Very Serious Economic Trouble On The Horizon

Most Americans have no idea how much economic trouble is heading our way.  Most of them just assume that everything will eventually “return to normal” just like it always has before and that those running our economy “know what they are doing” and that we should trust them to do their jobs.  Unfortunately, these beliefs are being reinforced by the bubble of false hope that we are experiencing right now.  For example, it is being reported that weekly unemployment claims in the United States have fallen to a four-year low.  That is a very good thing.  Let us hope that unemployment claims go even lower and that the current period of stability lasts for as long as possible.  We should enjoy these last fleeing moments of tremendous prosperity for as long as we can, because when they are gone they won’t be coming back.  As I noted the other day, all of this false prosperity in the United States has been financed by the 15 trillion dollar party that we have been enjoying.  We are adding about 150 million dollars to our debt every single hour so that we can continue to enjoy an inflated standard of living.  Unfortunately, nobody in the history of the world has ever been able to keep a debt spiral going indefinitely, and our debt bubble will burst eventually as well.

Sadly, when you attempt to end (or even slow down) a debt spiral the consequences can be extremely painful.  Just look at what is happening in Greece.  Several waves of austerity measures have been implemented, the Greek economy has been plunged into a full-blown depression and Greek debt is still going up.

The rest of the nations of the eurozone are also now implementing austerity measures, and most of them are also starting to fall into recession.  The economic pain in Europe is just beginning and it will go on for quite a long time.

And eventually the United States is going to join the pain.  Right now the U.S. government can still borrow trillions of dollars at super low interest rates thanks to games being played by the Federal Reserve.  But it is simply not possible for this Ponzi scheme to last too much longer.  When it ends, the pain will be extremely great.

And even in the short-term there are some extremely troubling signs for the U.S. economy.

The following are 19 signs of very serious economic trouble on the horizon….

#1 According to one new survey, approximately one-third of all Americans are not paying their bills on time at this point.

#2 The U.S. housing industry is bracing for another huge wave of foreclosures in 2012.  The following is from a recent Reuters article….

“We are right back where we were two years ago. I would put money on 2012 being a bigger year for foreclosures than 2010,” said Mark Seifert, executive director of Empowering & Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP), a counseling group with 10 offices in Ohio.

#3 The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, a key indicator watched by many economists, is on the verge of heading into negative territory.

#4 We are supposed to be in the middle of an economic recovery in the United States, but bad news just keeps pouring in from major companies.  For example, Yahoo is firing thousands of workers and Best Buy is closing dozens of stores.

#5 Richard Russell says that the “big money” is starting to quietly exit from the financial markets….

“My guess is that this is the big money that has been holding off as long as it decently can — and then dumping their goods just before the close. I don’t think the big money likes this market, and I think they have been slowly exiting this market, as quietly as they can.”

#6 Goldman Sachs is projecting that the S&P 500 will fall by about 11 percent by the end of 2012.

#7 All over the country, local governments are going into default and we have not even entered the next recession yet.

#8 The U.S. government will add more to the national debt in 2012 than it did from the time that George Washington became president to the time that Ronald Reagan became president.

#9 The Federal Reserve is desperately trying to control interest rates.  The Fed purchased approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2011.  This is the only thing that is keeping interest rates in the United States from soaring dramatically.

#10 German industrial production is falling at a pace that is far faster then expected.

#11 Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio is now up to 120 percent.

#12 The Spanish government admitted on Tuesday that Spain’s debt-to-GDP ratio will rise by more than 11 percent this year alone.

#13 Yields on Spanish bonds are rising to dangerous levels.

#14 The Spanish government is projecting that the unemployment rate in Spain will exceed 24 percent by the end of the year.

#15 Unemployment in the eurozone as a whole has risen for 10 months in a row and is now at a 15 year high.

#16 In the aftermath of a 77-year-old retiree killing himself in front of the Greek parliament in protest over pension cuts, the economic rioting in Greece has flared back up dramatically.

#17 At this point, Greece is experiencing an economic depression with no end in sight.  Some of the statistics coming out of Greece are really hard to believe.  For example, one port town in Greece now has an unemployment rate of approximately 60 percent.

#18 The IMF is asking the United States to contribute more money for European bailouts.

#19 At this point, even some of our top scientists are projecting economic trouble.  For example, researchers at MIT are projecting a “global economic collapse” by the year 2030 if current trends continue.

But the truth is that we will experience a “global economic collapse” long before 2030 comes rolling around.

Let us hope that we still have at least several more months of economic prosperity in the United States before things really fall apart.

The truth is that the vast majority of Americans need more time to prepare for what is coming.

Sadly, most Americans are not preparing.  Most Americans have blind faith that those in positions of power are going to fix everything and set us on the path to even greater prosperity than ever before.

Unfortunately, all Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama have been doing is kicking the can down the road and making our eventual collapse much worse.

As many of us have painfully learned, you can run from debt for a while, but you can’t hide from it forever.  Eventually debt catches up with you, and when it does it can be very cruel.

The 15 trillion dollar party is coming to an end, and the consequences of decades of very foolish decisions are going to fall on this generation.

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