Friday, May 8, 2020

Welcome To The Trump Depression

The impact of the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown tore through the U.S. labor market in April at historic levels, slashing 20.5 million workers from nonfarm payrolls and sending the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 14.7%, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Both numbers easily smashed post-World War II era records and help reflect the profound damage done through efforts used to combat the virus.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting payrolls to shed 21.5 million and the unemployment rate to go to 16%. April’s unemployment rate topped the post-war record 10.8% but was short of the Great Depression high estimated at 24.9%. The financial crisis peak was 10% in October 2009.

The bleak numbers paint a “pretty dismal picture, but April may be it for job losses going forward with the country starting to reopen,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “If there is a silver-lining in today’s dismal jobs report, it is in the realization that the economy cannot possibly get any worse than it is right now.” 

Spoilers: the job losses are going to continue as Americans aren't going to run out to restaurants and theaters and gyms, and those who do are going to get sick.

A sizable majority of Americans (68%) continue to say their greater concern is that state governments will lift coronavirus-related restrictions on public activity too quickly. Fewer than half as many (31%) say their greater concern is that states will not lift restrictions quickly enough, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that comes as some states begin to ease the restrictions they put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Overall, the public’s views on this question are little changed since early April, though they are somewhat more divided along partisan and ideological lines. Republicans, especially conservative Republicans, have become more concerned that the state restrictions will not be lifted quickly enough, while a growing share of Democrats worry more that they will be lifted too quickly.

Meanwhile, when Americans are asked about the restrictions on public activity in their area, about half (48%) say that the current number of restrictions is about right. The remainder are split between those who believe there should be more restrictions than there are right now (27%) and those who believe there should be fewer (24%), according to the survey, conducted April 29 to May 5 among 10,957 U.S. adults on the Center’s American Trends Panel.

The economy is absolutely going to get worse. Much worse.  And even if we had a vaccine today, nearly a fifth of Americans would refuse to get it and another quarter would be unsure.

As a number of states begin to reopen their economies, a clear majority of Americans believe they are moving too fast, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov coronavirus poll. Even residents of the reopened states agree.

Yet while the survey shows broad, continuing support for lockdown orders and skepticism about whether the time has come to lift them, a surprisingly large number of Americans seem reluctant to take the one step scientists say could actually bring the devastating coronavirus pandemic to an end.

Asked whether they plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if and when a vaccine arrives, a majority of Americans (55 percent) say yes.

The rest — a significant minority — say they won’t get vaccinated (19 percent) or they’re not sure (26 percent).

If those results were to hold, tens or even hundreds of millions of unimmunized Americans could ultimately undermine any vaccine’s ability to stop the spread of the virus.

As I keep saying, it's going to take a catastrophic death toll to get these goddamn idiots to play nice.

New tag: Trump Depression.

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