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  • Bob Brooks

September’s Unemployment Surprise

I was watching CNBC for the unemployment report on Friday morning and the only thing missing was Tattoo yelling, “the plane, the plane.” That would have completed this month’s edition of “Fantasy Employment Island.” (remember the show Fantasy Island? If not, keep reading. It is not essential to the context of this morning’s post-lol.)

So the government is telling us we have 850,000 new jobs created in June. Meanwhile, people filing for unemployment benefits totaled roughly 1,571,000 million people in June. People who qualify for unemployment benefits are newly unemployed – I hope you see the connection that the US government doesn’t see.

Then there is the fantasy unemployment rate of 5.9%. With roughly 85 million people filing for unemployment benefits since the pandemic began, there is not a more flawed economic number that is published. This is a number that leaves out tens of millions of people.

The actual number is the one that counts the number of people who are on extended unemployment due to stimulus programs. Those on stimulus benefits are not included in the unemployment category. By my estimates, there are tens of millions of people in the stimulus group. The major problem is that the government doesn’t talk about how to account for the stimulus group. The period for extended unemployment benefits goes away on September 6th. What then? Those 9 million job openings or demand for jobs will be overwhelmed by the supply that is about to hit the market in September.

Will the politicians extend benefits until the end of the year? Don’t be surprised if it happens. Beyond that, the politicians have no plan of action. I want to think that they see this coming….yet….I wonder?

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