Unemployment claims deceptive

We have the lowest new filings for unemployment benefits since 1973.  See article.

  1. We already had a trend toward people working multiple jobs to make ends meet in an era of lower wages and reduced benefits.  If a person loses ONE of those jobs, technically they still have “a job” and aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits.
    – If you work one hour a week and are paid at least $20, you are not eligible.
    – There are currently enough full-time jobs for only 44% of the adult population.
    (it should be at least 50%)
    See article for both stats.
  2. Household income (adjusted for inflation) has been declining since 2000 – that’s a whopping 17 years, nearly a generation!  For the bottom fifth of us, it’s declined about 25%.  See 3rd chart here.
  3. If people take a severance package they may not be eligible for unemployment, and for sure if they take any kind of early retirement they aren’t eligible.  Recently two of my friends in their early 50s took such a deal.  They happen to have no children and can afford it, but are not “happy” about it and most of us can’t afford such a move.
  4. Since 2007 all the other quin-tiles (20% brackets) and even the top 5% have taken losses.  (same 3rd chart as in #2 above)  These losses were precipitous, then nearly recovered, and have recently started down again.  So, a large cross section of people are quite anxious that they are about to lose big time what they have.
  5. 51% of Americans make less than $30,000 a year.  But of course this is more than $20 a week, so they aren’t eligible for unemployment.

No wonder we have such a strange set of presidential candidates with voters in both parties disaffected from the establishment.


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