Unemployment: 1.5 million laid-off workers seek US jobless aid in 11th straight weekly drop

For the week ending 6/13, unemployment claims at 1.5 million

Why is there a two hour line at this particular ATM in New York City?

Every day, people from all over New York travel to the ATM at the East 22nd Street branch of KeyBank in Manhattan and wait more than two hours for their chance at the machine. Why? One reason is to avoid the fees they'd get hit with by withdrawing their unemployment benefits from many other banks' ATM. Unemployment benefits are distributed via KeyBank debit cards sent to residents; unfortunately, there are only two KeyBank branches in NYC and one of them is closed due to the pandemic. There are other fee-free options — including direct deposit or non-KeyBank ATMs with lower withdrawal limits — but apparently scores of people didn't read or understand the fine print, or the bank didn't clearly communicate. From the New York Post:

Some said they endured the line and rolled the dice on their health to avoid getting gouged with surcharges at out-of-network banks. Others said the KeyBank machine was the only one where they could get a daily maximum withdrawal of $1,500. And some simply didn’t know that the bank was part of a network of 1,000 ATMs — because neither the state nor the bank told them when they sent the “Key2Benefits” cards.

“It’s crazy, but we have to do it,” said May Adams, 73, who withdrew $500 for rent. She walked across town to the East 22nd Street branch from her home in Chelsea.

Eric Kwan, 40, a former Food Network “Chopped” champion who is now out of work, said he biked from Chinatown to save $3[...]

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Nearly 3 million more unemployment claims in U.S. as COVID-19 job losses total 36 million

U.S. jobless claims totaled 2.98 million last week, unemployment is close to 16% Read the rest

Jobs report shows 20.5 million lost jobs in April and unemployment surged to 14.7%

New jobs report from U.S. released on Friday:

JOBS LOST IN APRIL: 20.5 million

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: 14.7%

This is the worst U.S. jobs report since the World War II era. Read the rest

Another 4.4m filed for unemployment last week

At least 4.4m workers claimed unemployment benefits for the first time in the week ending April 18.

The numbers of new filers are down from the previous week, which saw 5.2m new claimants, and the 6.9m and 6.6m claims the two weeks previous to that. The numbers are nonetheless astronomical, and suggest that the total unemployment figure will soon exceed 30m, about 20% of the workforce.

Roughly 26 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the five weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began forcing millions of employers to close their doors. About one in six American workers have now lost their jobs since mid-March, by far the worst string of layoffs on record. Economists have forecast that the unemployment rate for April could go as high as 20%. The enormous magnitude of job cuts has plunged the U.S. economy into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Some economists say the nation’s output could shrink by twice the amount that it did during the Great Recession, which ended in 2009.

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U.S. weekly jobless claims 5,245,000 last week

5.2 million more Americans joined the ranks of the jobless, as the coronavirus crisis continues to decimate the economy. Read the rest

Coronavirus destroyed U.S. job market, this chart shows how badly your state was hit

The coronavirus has destroyed America's job market, and there is no immediate relief in sight. This interactive data project from NBC News shows just how devastating the sudden employment losses are, and which US states have been hit the hardest. Read the rest

6.6m joined unemployed line last week, more than expected

6.6m Americans signed on last week, bringing the unemployed total to 17m. The record week almost matches thew week before, when nearly 7m applied for benefits, and the week before that, when more than 3m lost their jobs. Experts had predicted a 5m jump, and the larger toll signals a worse economic downturn than expected.

Economists are expecting job losses will continue, with the unemployment rate peaking in the double digits sometime in the next few months, up from 4.4% in March. Bank of America economists predict employers will cut between 16 million and 20 million jobs, with the unemployment rate peaking at 15.6% between now and June. If that's the case, it could take at least a couple years for unemployment to return to its pre-pandemic levels. The recoveries from both those downturns were painfully slow, dragging on for years. Economists are hoping the recovery from this downturn will be faster, but ultimately, that will depend on when the coronavirus outbreak is contained.

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How to deal with getting fired

Brilliant culture critic Rob Walker, author of the forthcoming book The Art of Noticing, just launched a new column at Lifehacker about "navigating the modern workplace," a continuation in some ways of his long-running New York Times column "The Workologist." Naturally, Rob's first column in the new series is about getting fired:

...What I’m suggesting is that you should not wait for a major crisis (getting fired, a horrible reorg, your worst rival becomes your boss) to start thinking about other objects. It’s better to always have a kind of low-grade, ambient awareness of and openness to other professional opportunities. That’s true even if you’re ecstatic with whatever you’re doing. Always take the lunch or have the meeting or go on the informational interview that pops up on your radar...

The absolute flat-out most irritating piece of career advice is this: Reframe challenges, failures, slap-downs, and humiliations as exciting opportunities.

Yes, we all get the logic. In fact we all get it so well that we don’t need to hear this advice anymore. Particularly right after we just got fired and it doesn’t feel exciting at all!

So let me try to offer a slightly different reframing. As noted, it totally sucks to lose your gig. But take a deep breath and try to keep an open mind about what might come next. This, in a way, is just a restatement of the “permanent job search” idea, with a little panglossian polish.

"How To Get Fired" (Lifehacker) Read the rest

This drywall-installing robot will finish building your new home, meatbag

There's a robot apocalypse coming, but it's likely not going to result in the loss of billions of human lives. Rather, it's our livelihoods that are at stake. For some vocations, signs of a paradigm shift are already here. The HRP-5P humanoid robot is designed to be a drywall-hanging machine. It's slow now, but it's capable. Sooner or later, it'll be fast enough and cheap enough to make skilled construction labor a thing of the past. My Grandfather, who spent the better part of his life building churches, homes and movie theaters, would have shit a brick were he alive to see this.

Have no doubt, no matter what you do for a living, that similar appliances are on their way to make our daily toil a redundancy. Society's going to need to learn to adapt--fast. Read the rest

Report: 66 million people will lose their jobs to robots

According a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 66 million people are at risk of having their livelihoods taken away by robots.

From The Guardian:

The OECD said 14% of jobs in developed countries were highly automatable, while a further 32% of jobs were likely to experience significant changes to the way they were carried out.

And of course, the people most likely to get screwed by this impending robot employment uprising are those who can least afford it: The poor. According to the OECD, young people, unskilled laborers and those employed in agriculture, manufacturing and the service sector are at the greatest risk of losing their jobs once robots become intelligent and versatile enough to replace them.

As abysmal as all of this is, there is some good news here. The OECD's research isn't as dire as this study, published back in 2013, which suggested that upwards of 47% of all jobs in the United States were at risk of being phased out in favor of letting robots take over their gigs. Instead, the OECD estimates that only 13 million people will be kicked to the curb.

So much better!

One of the biggest problems we'll face in the future, you know, aside from fascist governments, a global shortage of potable water and the growing threat of nuclear war, is what can be done with the millions of people who will lose their vocations as the level of automation in the workplace makes their presence at work redundant. Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: Charley the Australopithecine On The Hunt For a Job!

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TOM THE DANCING BUG: George Lucas Revises the Decade Since 9/11!

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