Key Highlights

  • 40.8M unemployed in last 10 weeks
  • 26% of labor force now not working
  • More than 1 in 4 US workers have now lost their jobs

The US Labor Department delivered more bad news on Thursday, May 28. Another 2.1M people filed for unemployment benefits last week for a total of 40.8M in the last 10 weeks. That 40.8M jobless number represents 26.8% of the US civilian labor force.

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The Federal Reserve added its two cents in its latest monthly Beige Book survey to the Labor Department’s data. Indicating that the job market is suffering everywhere in the country, the Fed’s business contacts reported that retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are continuing to fall sharply.

  • Boeing is cutting +12,000 jobs,
  • Major retailers such as Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penny and Crew have filed for bankruptcy.
  • Bottoming-out tax revenues are forcing large/small cities and towns to furlough municipal workers. Approximately 1M government employees were laid off in April. (City and state coffers could become even more cataclysmic if commercial and residential property owners can’t pay their city/state taxes due in June.)

Know that the Fed’s nor the Labor Department’s jobless rates do NOT include millions of other laid off workers who have not applied for benefits as well as others who have left the labor force altogether. New college and/or high school graduates just entering the labor force are not counted by the Labor Department nor are the 8M undocumented workers who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic as they are not eligible for any benefits.

Kevin Hassett, a White House economic advisor, told CNN this week that unemployment could hit 20% in June and the Congressional Budget Office indicated in April that it expects the economy to contract by 5.6% this year and end the year with unemployment at +11%.

Any good news? Amazon just announced that the company is offering full-time jobs to 125,000 of the 175,000 temporary workers it hired in the throes of the pandemic. Theme parks in Florida are re-opening in a couple of weeks. And stores in California that have been closed since March 19 just got the okay to re-open. All of these companies are hiring/rehiring/re-opening under CDC guidelines that recommend employee distancing, screenings and face coverings.

Thanks to The New York Times and National Public Radio.

Also read: Corcoran Shares What You Need to Go from $40,000 to $8 Million, Podcast: Top 10 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Listing (+Secrets to Getting it Signed!), Another 3.2M Adding to At Least 33.5M Out of Work in 7 Weeks