Tracking the collapse of wage slavery in real time

by Jehu

Chart One: Permanent job losses compared in the 2001 recession, 2008 recession and the pandemic sudden stop

Above is a chart from Calculated Risk blog showing the estimated number of permanent job losses in the nine months since the sudden stop caused by emergency measures taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. This number is produced by the Bureau of Labor statistics and should be taken with an entire box of Morton Iodized.

But they do give us some measure of how severe the shock to the market in labor power has been in a frighteningly short period of time. Already, just nine months in, the labor market has permanently lost 50% more jobs than at comparable periods in both the 2001 and 2008 recessions; it has already entirely exceeded the total permanent job losses of the 2001 recession.

Chart Two: Aggregate job losses and ‘recovery’ in various recessions

As chart two, also from the same source, shows, even with the alleged bounce in the so-called economy following the sudden stop, the market in labor power is still more severely impaired than at the worst depths of the 2008 crisis.

The severity of the problem in the market in labor power might be obvious to anyone who is following the weekly initial claims reports that are currently running four times “normal” and well beyond even the worst weeks of the so-called Great Recession.

I don’t usually care what bourgeois economists write, but the Calculated Risk blog usually presents mainstream consensus information. If you want to know what the mainstream thinks is happening, they are probably the least offensive to your sensibilities — not ‘right’, just less spin than ‘normal’.