The coronavirus crisis continues to drive a stake through the heart of the economy as lockdowns keep citizens from being able to return to work and provide for their families. In fact, the number of new applications for unemployment benefits skyrocketed last week, totaling over 2.9 million according to reports from the Labor Department.
This is a bit higher than economists had predicted. Numbers were originally expected to hit 2.7 million. An increase is definitely not good news, as the alleged “doomsayers” of imminent economic collapse seem to be proven right each and every day we remain closed.
Here’s more on this from the Washington Examiner:
The number of workers seeking aid remains historically high but has dropped considerably from the nearly 7 million claims that were filed the week ending March 28.
Since the economy halted in mid-March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, 36.5 million workers have filed for unemployment benefits, an unprecedented figure since the federal government began tracking unemployment in the 1930s.Trending:
Jobless claims have skyrocketed. This week last year, there were only 217,000 new claims made. Similarly, more than 25 million workers claimed benefits in all programs for the week ending April 25. That figure was 1.6 million for the same week in 2019.
Reports from the Labor Department reveal that in California, nearly a third of workers, which is somewhere around 27.7 percent, were unemployed for the week ending April 25. In the state of Michigan, a quarter were without work, 23.1 percent, for that same week.
However, it seems the state that was hardest hit last week was Connecticut. Over 298,000 people filed for unemployment benefits. Read that again. Think about the size of Connecticut.
Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman, stated that the current job crisis could have long lasting consequences for those who find themselves our of work due to these shutdowns.
“Long stretches of unemployment can damage or end workers’ careers as their skills lose value and professional networks dry up, and leave families in greater debt,” Powell stated during a recent event that was sponsored by the Peterson Institute.
We all want to make sure this virus doesn’t hurt those who are most vulnerable to it, but we simply cannot continue a massive, country-wide lockdown for much longer. People don’t really understand the gravity of a failing economy because they are only thinking of the monetary part of the equation.
Those in favor of a long lockdown aren’t thinking about the toll such a decision has on broader society. Our economy is interconnected with everything. When people don’t work, they can’t provide for their families. Not being able to provide for their families, to do something productive and in service to their community, leads to severe depression and a drop in how one views their personal value. Depression sets in, and not long after that, the risk of suicide and other problems drastically increases.
Without production and economic activity, prices soar for goods. People go without needed supplies. Folks get angry. They get violent. Rioting and looting breaks out. People die. Starvation. All kinds of bad things that dwarf the bad things from coronavirus.
This is why we need to reopen. Soon.