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It's Been Three Months Since Covid-19 Hit and the Economic Pain Continues

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/11/its-been-three-months-covid-19-hit-and-economic-pain-continues

Thanks Heidi Shierholz. I appreciate this sunlight on a dark and troubling issue. Which needs all the sunlight it can possibly receive. No spin and b.s. in this.
I cut to the chase and say your #s mean a 21.6-21.8% real unemployment figure. And, using the business community’s #s mean a 18.1-18.3% real unemployment figure. Based on pre-virus #s and rounding up.
Not a pretty picture. Let’s see what Congress does as opposed to what it will say it does. By the X-Mas season hiring, unemployment will still be around 13-14%, in the very best case scenario.
I’d guess, you’re guess would be, that # will be closer to 15% when Santa comes down the old chimney. There’s going to lots of lumps of coal and even more empty X-mas stockings.
But, the most amazing # at end of this year will be a zero. As in, zero accountability for a catastrophe, that never needed to be one. Followed by a hearty Happy New Year!, of course.

The U.S. Census has conducted 5 flash surveys in May, the Household Pulse Surveys, the last from May 28 to June 2, released June 10, yesterday. I’m familiar with the one most previous, May 21 to 26. The current report, at Table 1, Employment, shows that 48% or 119 million adults report “Experienced loss of employment income since March 13, 2020 (for self or household member)”. That is 48% of all adults (249 million). On the survey Food Table, 2a, it shows 38 million retired adults, leaving 211 million not-retired. That leaves 56% experiencing loss of employment income among those not retired. The picture is much grimmer that I would have imagined. Table 2a, Food Sufficiency, has more detail than the Employment Table 1. “Did not want to be employed” (5.4 million) and Retired (38 million) Other reason (13 million) and Did not report (133 million) gives a total of just under 190 million, so about 60 million fall into all the other reasons: "sick with corona virus symptoms, Caring for someone (sick), Caring for children, Caring for an elderly person, Sick (not virus related) or disabled, reduction in business (including furlough), Laid off, Employment closed temporarily, Employment went out of business. Those reasons make up 60 million non working adults’ reasons for not working. Take out the 8 million who are sick or disabled or caring for an elderly person, leaves 52 million who claim that the pandemic has tossed them out of work. A bit different (20 million workers, or about 12.5% of workforce) from the totals of 32 million cited in this article. Is the Census credible? Confusion reigns. The Table 4 Food also says that 61% report “Couldn’t afford to buy more food” (66 million of 108 million polled). We need an article dealing with the Census’ Household Pulse Surveys.

I am almost certain it is going to get a LOT worse and have no clue how to prepare.
(no, I’m not a “prepper”!)
Grateful for still having water 24/7, solid roof, so far plenty of food and a basement that stays cool when it gets too hot----- among other things to be grateful for. That could change overnight. Many are beginning to realize this in their bones.

We are in SHTF scenario on so many levels it’s hard to even think about what to focus on let alone how to “fix things” that seem at this point are unfixable like arctic ice melt, coral reefs dying, oceans acidifying, Co2 levels rising . . .

I am here, we are here trying to figure out what to do, how to survive, not harm, not be takers and many here are trying to effect positive change even though things (social, environmental) are collapsing around us.

Now to shift to the unpleasant word— “money” which we still need to survive as bartering isn’t an established practice yet!

This article was recently published in the Atlantic and has me a tad nervous.
I will admit I can’t afford to lose what little savings I have which may be the case should this come to pass.



I know the Canadian plan to deal with COVID was much more generous to the working class than the US version of relief yet know many Canadians are hurting financially due to the downturn , this even with full access to health care.

I can only imagine what it like for the American worker and in particular those that did not have a lot of savings . I am not sure how they dealt with peoples rents and mortgages down there but up here those that were hit were given some measure of relief province to province. Even at that some of the monies owed were just to be paid down the road . A person might return to work and be three or 4 months behind on rent or their mortgage. That real hard to make up for.

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It’s only going to get worse.

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Surely the author of this piece is aware that this is only the beginning?