Reprinted from www.unz.com
1 Unemployment is off-the-charts
Thursday's jobless claims leave no doubt that the country is in the grips of another severe recession. More than 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the last week. That number exceeds the gloomiest prediction of more than 40 economists and pushes the two-week total to an eye-watering 10 million claims.
According to CNBC:
"Those at the lower end of the wage scale have been especially hard-hit during a crisis that has seen businesses either cut staff outright or at best freeze any new hiring until there's more visibility about how efforts to contain the coronavirus will work.
"We've lived through the recession and 9/11. What we're seeing with this decline is actually worse than both of those events," said Irina Novoselsky, CEO of online jobs marketplace CareerBuilder." (CNBC)
According to New York Magazine:
"Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis projected Monday that job losses from the coronavirus recession would reach 47 million and push America's unemployment rate to 32.1 percent - more than 7 points higher than its Great Depression-era peak."
2 Service Sector has been walloped by the virus
Services account for 70% of the US economy, but presently the sector is in meltdown. According to the analysts at Wolf Street: "Employment contracted sharply and hours were reduced for those still employed. "The employment index plunged from +6.1 to -23.8, also the lowest level on record"
Retailers got whacked. The Retail Sales Index of the Texas Retail Outlook Survey collapsed from the already beaten-down level of -2.5 in February to an epic all-time low of -82.6 in March" (Also) the general business activity index collapsed from the beaten down level of -5.0 to a historic low of -84.2".
Comments from retail executives were somber:" "Most of our business has gone to zero except for essential locations such as hospitals, military bases and prisons" We are contemplating at this moment sending most employees home while our owners determine whether they can afford to pay reduced salaries and cover benefits for a short period while we see if things improve or worsen" (Wolf Street)
3 Economic carnage extends across sectors
Business Insider: "Recession risks are rising as coronavirus spreads around the world"The crisis will clobber airlines, shipping, hotels, and restaurants"
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