Morning Brief: Radio today, Unemployment Claims

I will be on the radio this morning. I think unemployment will be a topic of conversation. US claims continued their rise from 3.3 million last week to 6.6 million this week. You can read articles in (Marketwatch link and the New York Times link).

In North Dakota the Governor announced claims so far this year already exceeded last year’s total. The number from two weeks ago was 5,976 and the number released today (which is for the week ended March 28, 2020)is 12,591. Pretty large numbers that are sourced from several causes and likely to continue in the same pattern.

My quick take: I think Congress will be taking more action sooner rather than later with the speed of layoffs. The changing nature of production makes it easier to layoff workers now than in the past because, I suspect, processes are easier to restart after a shutdown or reduction. That and the movement into the service sector for employment seem to be likely drivers of this.

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