Weekly applications for jobless benefits have remained so elevated that Georgia now leads the country in terms of the proportion of its workforce applying for unemployment assistance. A staggering 40.3 percent of the state's workers — two out of every five — has filed for unemployment insurance payments since the coronavirus pandemic led to widespread shutdowns in mid-March, a POLITICO review of Labor Department data shows.
Georgia's new jobless claims have been going up and down since the state reopened, rising to 243,000 two weeks ago before dipping to 177,000 last week. The state cited new layoffs in the retail, social assistance and health care industries for the continued high rate of jobless claims that have put it ahead of other states in the proportion of its workforce that has been sidelined.
Georgia, which began pushing to resume economic activity on April 24, presents an early reality check as the White House amps up pressure on governors to lift shutdown orders and President Donald Trump’s economic advisers predict jobless claims will nosedive after the reopening. The state’s persistent unemployment numbers suggest that government restrictions aren’t the only cause of skyrocketing layoffs and furloughs — and that the economy might not fully recover until consumers feel safe.
There are many reasons Georgia’s jobless numbers are still going up, economists say, including that the state, like most of the country, is still whittling through a backlog of applications. State officials also say some laid-off workers are filing duplicate claims, which can artificially inflate the numbers. But the data still underscores how lifting stay-at-home restrictions alone will do little to bring jobs and spending back unless consumer confidence improves, bringing demand with it.
“Think of a restaurant: They’re not going to be able to bring back their entire staff because they’re just not going to have the clientele,” said Laura Wheeler, associate director of the Center for State and Local Finance at Georgia State University. “That’s going to hinder the return of the workforce, because while we’re going to open up, we’re not going to open up to the full capacity that we were at before.”
And in Georgia, public polling indicates that confidence has yet to return. Nearly two-thirds of Georgia residents in a recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll said they felt their state was lifting restrictions too quickly, and only 39 percent said they approved of Kemp’s handling of the outbreak.
“We’ve been chasing a bit of a false narrative that the economic hit is about the restrictions and not the disease itself,” said Julia Coronado, president and founder of Macropolicy Perspectives, an economic research consulting firm. “The economic story really isn’t about lockdowns, and we’re going to make mistakes by pursuing that narrative. It really is about the disease, and how fearful people are about getting sick, and how businesses are going to operate in a world where this virus is with us.”
At the same time, the Trump administration is pushing to get governors to reopen their doors in the hopes that doing so will help revive the U.S. economy.
So you mean as I said a month ago that people aren't going to go out to eat during a pandemic because of the pandemic?
But gosh, I thought the vast majority of Americans were actively against the tyrannical lockdowns and would flood back to restaurants and theaters because they didn't believe the virus was real.
The Trump Depression will continue until the pandemic is actually contained and all the "reopening" of the economy in the country won't fix that, so I guess the next step is to just lie about the dead people in hospital gurneys and makeshift morgue trucks as we approach 100,000 casualties.
Trump's reelection is doomed.
The economy has gone from President Donald Trump's greatest political asset to perhaps his biggest weakness.
Unemployment is spiking at an unprecedented rate. Consumer spending is vanishing. And GDP is collapsing. History shows that dreadful economic trends like these spell doom for sitting presidents seeking reelection.
The coronavirus recession will cause Trump to suffer a "historic defeat" in November, a national election model released Wednesday by Oxford Economics predicted.
The model, which uses unemployment, disposable income and inflation to forecast election results, predicts that Trump will lose in a landslide, capturing just 35% of the popular vote. That's a sharp reversal from the model's pre-crisis prediction that Trump would win about 55% of the vote. And it would be the worst performance for an incumbent in a century.
"It would take nothing short of an economic miracle for pocketbooks to favor Trump," Oxford Economics wrote in the report, adding that the economy will be a "nearly insurmountable obstacle for Trump come November."
A miracle isn't coming.
Now, divine intervention from the other side, well. That part worries me greatly. As I've said before, the more obvious Trump's coming defeat becomes, the more likely he will do something precipitous. If he loses, he is going to prison for the rest of his life and he knows it. Pence can't pardon him for state crimes.
But there's a lot Trump can do on the way out.