Unemployment Rate? Where will it go?


Active member
This morning, it was reported that 5.245 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment in the past week. The four-week total is 22.025 million which is over 10 times the prior worst four-week period in the last 50 years. So at this point, the unofficial unemployment rate is about 14%. and headed higher. That's a whole bunch of folks out of work. But the good news is that quite a few of those folks are on temporary layoffs and those jobs will come back when the country starts to open up again. But at this point, the jobs lost in the past four weeks have wiped out ALL of the jobs created since 2010.

So, although we are currently in "uncharted territory", here are some charts:





Well-known member
I think it's likely that once the "curve flattens", and the restrictions are somewhat lifted, we'll see unemployment go down again. But if the various Governmental entities are smart (and that's debatable), they'll keep businesses based around social interactions closed. I'm talking about bar, restaurants, entertainment venues etc. If they don't manage to maintain some level of social distancing before an effective vaccine is widely available (if ever), we could just see recurrences of the early spike in cases.

So I'm guessing 10% unemployment will be the new norm for the next year. And yes, it is a guess.


Staff member
Someone needs to make tough decisions. It looked like we might lose 2% of our population up front, and now they're saying the death rate will be about comparable to tripling the number of automotive deaths this year. But there are significant downsides to unemployment too - if the 40,000 additional deaths per point of unemployment number holds, and we've gone up 10%, then are we looking at 400,000 deaths (6 times the current estimate for COVID-19 deaths) attributable to addiction, suicide, boredom, and the rest?

If you open things back up, does the COVID-19 number jump back up closer to the 2 million initial estimate?

It's a hard decision. I wish I had confidence someone was looking at this seriously.


Well-known member
Part of what's going on is the process of uncoupling our economy and culture from China.
I think that that is worth the temporary pain... .


Well-known member
If you open things back up, does the COVID-19 number jump back up closer to the 2 million initial estimate?

I think so. Probably higher.

I think when it originally became apparent that China had an issue, many people (including those in Government) thought "It's all the way over there." But China is how many hours of flight time from us? That's all it takes.

So if the country just opens back up, people start travelling again. And then it's everywhere. If we went back to life as normal, it would just spread until all but the most reclusive people had it. They may be spared by the herd immunity that would develope over time. But the hospitals would be overwhelmed quickly, and many more people than necessary would die at home. Medical facilities would begin to triage the infected based on survivability, and possibly time already spent on a ventilator, as well as other factors unknown.

Not a pretty picture. But likely an accurate one. The R-naught number is thought to be between 2 and 2.5, which doesn't seem like much. But coupled with the lag in symptoms, the lack of widely available testing, and the asymptomatic cases, it's a big deal. Even if it's only 2.0, one infected person infects two people, then they each infect two people. 1+2+4+8+16+32.......scary.

George P

Well-known member
I do not believe the death numbers or infected numbers as totally accurate; too many Covid deaths that aren't


Active member
First off drop minimum wage to a reasonable level like $5 or $6 and give up the pretense that an entry level job is enough for a lower middle class lifestyle. After that the well paying jobs would be more likely to be created. Either in-house or individually from necessity's creativity.


Well-known member
The thought of abolishing the minimum wage sounds nice on the surface, and simple enough. Unfortunately, reality isn't so convenient.

From the same people who brought you:
"Learn a skill!", "Find a career!", "Work harder!".

"College won't teach you about real life!", "A degree doesn't mean you can actually do anything!", "They're all just over-educated idiots!".

Currently in the US, we don't have enough skilled and trained individuals. So we import them to fill the higher end professional jobs. But we also have a bunch of low paying, go nowhere, menial labor jobs. No one wants to do those because of the reasons I just described, so we also import labor for those jobs. And yet, apparently kids shouldn't go try and get an education, because it's useless. But they should find a good job, somehow, some way. Meanwhile, some other Americans should commit themselves to doing the crappy jobs no one wants to do, for less money than those jobs currently pay.

Sounds like we've got it all figured out here.

Fine Figure of a Man

Well-known member
Pretty sure you guys already figured it out, right? $0 per hour fixes everything. No possible negative repercussions from that.
The actual minimum wage is in fact $0. What anyone has "figured out" is not relevant.
What is the magic dollar per hour wage with no possible negative repercussions?


Well-known member
You won't understand the concept but here it is... People are paid what the value of their work is. In the long run currency reflects that value.
Actually people are paid somewhere between the minimum amount they will accept for doing the work, and the maximum amount an employer will pay them to do it. $0 doesn't factor into that equation.