Real Unemployment Soars Past 20% as Another 4.4 Million File for Unemployment

Real Unemployment Soars Past 20% as Another 4.4 Million File for Unemployment

As most of the nation remains in lockdown, unemployment is now on track to eclipse its all-time-high during the depths of the great depression (at 24.9%).

We learned today from the unemployment report that another 4.4 million Americans have filed for unemployment, bringing the total to 26.5 million. Tragically even that understates the true scope of the problem, because self-employed individuals can’t file for unemployment, and thus aren’t counted in those statistics.

According to Fortune Magazine:

Another 4.4 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims in the week ending April 18. That’s down from 5.2 million the week prior, however it marks the fifth consecutive week over 3 million, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

At the highest of levels of unemployment following the 2008 financial crisis, there were 15.3 million jobless Americans. But in the past five weeks a staggering 26.5 million workers have already filed jobless claims.

Prior to this five-week stretch of 26.5 million initial jobless claims, there were already 7.1 million unemployed Americans as of March 13, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When the figures are combined, it would equal more than 33 million unemployed, or a real unemployment rate of 20.6%—which would be the highest level since 1934.

While I had previously pointed out elsewhere last month that during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic cities that engaged in more aggressive lockdowns did end up seeing fewer deaths and more economic growth over the long run than those that were less restrictive, it is now clear that those lockdowns never resulted in such massive unemployment to the magnitude we’re seeing today. In fact, unemployment during that pandemic peaked at 11.7% – which ours is already nearly double of.

Many now fear that the cure has become worse than the problem itself, and it’s easy to see why. For as much as liberals love attacking the mostly red state governors looking to open their states back up, those states are opening up because the virus simply isn’t as big a problem there, and lack the population density that make it easier for the virus to spread.

For the most part, the coronavirus has proven to be a “New York” program, with nearly half of the nation’s cases there (and most concentrated in New York City). Let’s be honest – if Montana were the nation’s coronavirus epicenter, would anyone suggest locking down New York? Of course not – so why are we still doing the opposite?

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