Games continue in DC as they whistle pass a record claim lag!

Newell Normand
March 26, 2020 - 6:04 pm

U.S. jobless claim numbers were released today, and they revealed an alarming short story that everyone hopes will not transcend into a novel.

3.3 million unemployment claims, which equates to more than a 1000% increase over last week’s claims. To add more context , this claim number represents the highest ever recorded in a single week since the federal government started collecting the data in 1967. And, another tough pill to swallow, 3.3 million claims is more than quadruple the previous high set in 1982.

As the Covid 19 cases spike in all sectors of the economy, so do the jobless claims as more businesses of all sizes make the heart wrenching, but seemingly logical decision, to close their doors. Congress has been slow in crafting an appropriate response in the form of an Aid bill, while businesses have been accumulating staggering losses.

The speed of the economic decline should have been apparent to everyone in D.C..
Consider the following: in February, unemployment was at a 50 year low of 3.5%, and the economy was growing at a moderately healthy rate. In just two months economists predict there will be an unemployment rate of 13%. That is the first alarming detail of this short story.

The second alarming detail reveals itself in a strange way. We will become a victim of our own success, low unemployment requires less labor needed to process less unemployment claims. A win on two fronts, right up to the point where the entire country shuts down leading to a surge in unemployment claims.

Claimants...your family members, friends, coworkers, maybe even you...will face an administrative process, which is understaffed, and therefore unable to process claims quickly and efficiently. The old adages “hurry up and wait” and “help is on the way” may be an appropriate observation at this point. We are all too familiar with both.

 Meanwhile, back in D.C., the games continue to be played all the while knowing they are whistling pass the Claim Lag!

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