Did anyone back when this whole thing started think that by the first week of the new year, 2021, jobless claims would still be significantly higher than every previous record worst level? We aren’t just revisiting the numbers, it’s completely rewriting the circumstances. The “V” hopes were dashed so long ago, and so thoroughly, the letter itself has completely dropped off the face of the Earth.

It has been replaced instead by “stimulus”; more of the same which had led us to this same place anyway.

The tremendous economic fallout from the recession has now become the baseline. That’s the real takeaway, a downgrade and downshift more meaningful than every electronic payment sent out by the US Treasury Department. Drain the TGA, and to what end?

It’s Thursday, and that means, unfortunately, another peak at jobless claims still way above every other prior peak. The first estimate on initial claims for the new year is in and somehow it remains depressingly 2020ish. According to the Labor Department, another week near 800k. There had never been any week before above 700k.

Initial unemployment claims have, in fact, remained above 700k in every single week for forty-two weeks (and counting). There is, as yet, no end in sight. There are only more government promises for helicopter payments hoping to offset the economic destruction only being revealed by the persistence of these estimates.

Necessary, in these terms, as even some of the CARES Act, pandemic-assistance programs start to run out of funds, too. Those will be replenished already, but, permanent income hypothesis in mind, it’s bad enough being on the unemployment line, it’s much worse that so many millions continue to be, it’s disastrous that they can’t get off 42 weeks later, and the good news is that the government continues to jerk all these unfortunate Americans around all over again?

If the savings rate in this country doesn’t end up being more than 50% by the end of 2021, we’ll have to consider it a minor miracle.

What the jobless figures show, as the ADP estimates on private payrolls have, and what the BLS payroll reports tomorrow probably will, is that: the economy still has some rebound in it; and, it’s not nearly enough. Even after the first massive government stipends, there’s too many who’ve been left on the outside looking in.

Forty-two weeks. Happy New Year? Not yet, anyway. There is so much wrong about all this.