These Charts Put the Historic U.S. Job Losses in Perspective

Welcome back!

As I mentioned in a previous article,that can be accessed (especially if you want to make sense of the whole subzero prices for a barrel of oil) HERE.

Courtesy of visualcapitalist.com

The sources used for this info-graphic are FT and Trader Economics .

These Charts Put the Historic U.S. Job Losses in Perspective

Economy works in cycles, therefore there is not real news the fact that during this *special* period the US government has received so far more that 26 millions claims for aid, as you can see in this article created by Fortune.com.

Such episodes are a regular part of the business cycle and when they occur, most businesses do their best to tough things out. Then, as time progresses, it gradually becomes clear that spending must be curtailed, budget cuts must be made, and workers must unfortunately be sent home.

This economic process normally takes months, or even years, to unwind.

But, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into the economic status quo, creating a situation that is incomparable to any previous downturn. Instead of a gradual economic transition to slower growth prospects, business operations have suddenly screeched to a halt with no clear window to resume.

  • The Great Recession (2009)
    The most recent recession in memory peaked with 10.0% in unemployment in October 2009. It took until 2016 for unemployment to fall back to pre-recession levels.

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.

Finally, it’s worth noting that during the Great Depression (1929-1933), unemployment reached a historic high of 24.9%. To get to a comparable equivalent in modern times, there would need to be 41 million Americans out of work permanently.

Conclusion-There is room for optimism

Although the initial jobless claims are staggering and clearly without modern precedent, there is a case to be made for cautious optimism.

Many of the aforementioned recessions took months or years to culminate, with peak job losses occurring at the tail end of each recession. The current crisis, now being called “The Great Lockdown”, caused many businesses to shut doors suddenly and against their will. It also corresponded with unexpected closures of national borders and the halting of regular trade activity around the world.

When and if normal economic activity resumes, it’ll be interesting to see how much of the damage is temporary.

Thinking about what you entered……..
You are in!

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