Something Wicked This Way Comes

Initial jobless claims are near record lows. The last time they were this low was in early 2000, just before the market meltdown/recession. They were almost this low in 2007, just prior to the last market meltdown/recession. They were almost this low in 1989 before a market sell-off/recession. A critical thinking person might ask how we could have so few jobless claims when GDP is negative.

A critical thinking person might ask how reported layoffs by major corporations could be at a four year high, but jobless claims are at record lows. Someone must be lying or the dramatically higher layoffs in the first four months of 2015 versus the first four months of 2014 haven’t filtered through to the made up government reports. Here are the facts from Challenger & Gray:

Falling oil prices contributed to a 68 percent surge in job cuts last month, as US-based employers announced workforce reductions totaling 61,582 in April, up from 36,594 in March, according to the latest report on monthly layoffs released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. The April total was 53 percent higher than the same month a year ago, when 40,298 planned job cuts were recorded. It represents the highest monthly total since May 2012 (61,887) and the highest April total since 2009 (132,590). Year to date, employers have announced 201,796 planned job cuts, which marks a 25 percent increase from the 161,639 layoffs tracked in the first four months of 2014. This is the largest four-month total since 2010.

Maybe the claims are at an all-time low because the percentage of working age Americans with jobs is the lowest in 37 years. If people don’t have jobs, they can’t lose them. There are 250 million working age Americans in this country today. Only 148 million of them work. Over 20 million of them only work part-time. Millions more are classified as self employed as they try to sell shit on Ebay as their job. There are over 100 million non-employed or drastically underemployed Americans being supported by the 148 million working Americans.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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