Fear of Covid Keeps the Unemployment Rate Artificially Low

Mish

Around 4 million adults aren’t looking for jobs, not because they’re scarce but because of worries about catching the coronavirus

Fear of Getting or Spreading Covid

Officially the Unemployment rate is 6.0%. Practically speaking, it is much larger by several methods. 

Please consider The Other Reason the Labor Force Is Shrunken: Fear of Covid-19.

A U.S. Census survey conducted in the second half of March found that about 4.2 million adults aren’t working because they are afraid of getting or spreading the coronavirus.

Labor-force participation usually falls in recessions, as some people give up job hunting. But such discouraged workers accounted for just 3% of last year’s decline in workforce numbers, according to Labor Department data. This suggests that fear of the coronavirus might explain a lot of the remainder.

A handful of studies, including one by Austan Goolsbee and Chad Syverson of the University of Chicago, have used cellphone location data to track individuals’ travel patterns and found that voluntary behavior changes during the spring of 2020 drove the collapse in mobility more so than government-mandated shutdown orders did.

The precise effect of fear on the labor market isn’t clear because it isn’t something the government tracks. The Labor Department’s monthly jobs survey in March found that the pandemic had prevented 3.7 million people from looking for a job in the prior four weeks, but didn’t specify the reason.

The Labor Department survey results and the 4.2 million number cited by the Census survey aren’t directly comparable because of differences in questions asked, but both suggest that wariness about catching Covid-19 explains a substantial portion of the labor-force decline.

Unemployment Rate Calculation

The Unemployment rate is the number of people who are unemployed divided by the labor force. 

UR = (#Unemployed / Labor Force) * 100

We can easily calculate a "what if" rate by adding 4.2 million to the labor force and the number of unemployed.

Every month I post the jobs report and details needed for the calculation. In April I noted Economy Adds Over 900,000 Jobs Beating the Consensus By a Mile

BLS Jobs Statistics at a Glance

  • Nonfarm Payroll: +916,000 to 144,120,000 - Establishment Survey
  • Employment: +609,000 to 150,848,000- Household Survey
  • Unemployment: -262,000 to 9,710,000- Household Survey
  • Baseline Unemployment Rate: -0.2 to 6.0% - Household Survey
  • U-6 unemployment: -0.4 to 10.7% - Household Survey
  • Civilian Non-institutional Population: +85,000 to 261,003,000
  • Civilian Labor Force: +347,000 to 160,558,000 - Household Survey
  • Not in Labor Force: -263,000 to 100,445,000 - Household Survey
  • Participation Rate: +0.1 to 61.5% - Household Survey

If we add 4.2 million to the number of unemployed and also to the labor force we can calculate a far better number than the 6.0% as claimed by the BLS.

Unemployment Rate = ((9.71 Million + 4.2 million) / (160.558 million + 4.2 million)) * 100

Unemployment Rate = 8.4% 

Powell Says the True Unemployment Rate is Actually 10%

In January the official unemployment rate was 6.3%. I commented, Fed Chair Powell Says the True Unemployment Rate is Actually 10%.

I was asked by an economist how the Fed made that determination and posted the method here: How Did the Fed Conclude the Real Unemployment Rate Was 10% in January?

It's Been One Heck of a Recovery in Low-Paying Zoomer Jobs

I also played a set of "What If" scenarios in It's Been One Heck of a Recovery in Low-Paying Zoomer Jobs

For a look at Employment Population Ratios by age Group, please see Employment Trends Show Gen Z, Zoomers were the Hardest Hit Group By Covid

This recovery has been strong, but it's nowhere near as strong as reported or believed.

Mish

Comments (47)
No. 1-10
Eddie_T
Eddie_T

It must be nice to have the option of not working to avoid COVID. At this point, with the vaccines widely available to most age groups, it seems bogus to me that it should be a big deal for most people to go to work. Maybe for choir directors.

23 Replies

TexasTim65
TexasTim65

As long as the gov't hands out stimmy checks and UI benefits for Covid related reasons this is what will happen.

As Mish has mentioned in several posts, millions of people are making more staying home and doing nothing than they did going to work.

The question is when will this insanity stop.

njbr
njbr

Many people of working age are still not vaccinated and the wide range of places vaccines MAY be available through is really hindering access. Each one of people I work with have applied at many lists but yet to have any response from multiple sources. A couple of drugstore chains, the public system and private health systems. They're still waiting.

I got my appointment through the odd means of entering the on-line system of another state and then switching my location to my true location at the last step--thereby getting an appointment the next week in a suburb of the city of where I live. Now how bizarre is that?

Vaccines are still not as readily available is they need to be.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

So vaccines to the 24-55 age group are just starting to be available and they are quite vulnerable to the new UK and Brazil variants. So why not give them a month to get vaccinated and a month for the vaccine to reach efficacy before going off on them

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I suppose that’s fair, except I risked my life at work for nine months before I was able to get vaccinated.

But I had a lot depending on suiting up and showing up, and I was able to protect myself pretty well with Ivermectin, vitamins, and good infection control. Not medical advice, but it worked for me.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

>except I risked my life at work for nine months before I was able to get vaccinate

So did many people in the service industry at a far lower pay scale.

I was able to protect myself pretty well with Ivermectin

Well you should be pretty well prepared for any infestations of bots https://blog.abler.com/ivermectin-for-horses-2/

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

"So did many people in the service industry at a far lower pay scale.”

Yeah, I know that. So what? I helped more than a half dozen lower paid people stay employed through the entire year. Not a single one got sick on my watch. And we helped a lot of other people who needed us, which is what we do.

I realize the bot fly reference was a joke......but just in case anybody is wondering, Ivermectin is probably the best drug ever discovered for some of the nastiest human parasites in existence. It doesn’t kill every parasite, but it’s highly effective on a whole laundry list of them. It’s also very, very safe.

This has nothing to do with why I took it. I took it because I read Paul Marik and the dedicated clinicians of the FLCCC, and because I was at substantial risk. I no longer take it since I got vaccinated, but if I were to get infected with COVID in a breakthrough infection, I’d take it again immediately.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

Yeah, I know that. So what

Obviously empathy is not on your list of imperatives. So be it.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

You have no idea who I am or what my empathy level is, or how I express it. You’re making some assumptions with zero information. I just took exception to your obvious class issues, which have to everything to do with you, and nothing to do with me.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

it seems bogus to me that it should be a big deal for most people to go to work

Yeah your right I have no information as to what you feel.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

BTW:

"I just took exception to your obvious class issues"

I did not mention anything to do with class, just a pay scale..

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Well, “Lance”, if you actually knew a damn thing about me, you’d know that in my time I’ve done just about every shit job you could imagine, including some in the service industry for very low pay.

I poured molten metal in a foundry for years. I worked the night shift at the hospital. I was a janitor. I even shaved people's pubes for surgery at $5 a pop.I raised flies for the genetics lab. I worked in the college library. I worked roofing and pouring concrete, and I loaded trucks.I built miles of barbed wire fence.

So when somebody wants to play the pay scale card with me, I’m happy to invite them to kiss my ass. I paid my dues.

I make a damn good living, and I do it by doing a whole lot of treatment for a whole lot of people, most of whom don’t have a lot of money. I provide an excellent level of service for a low fee. I have nothing to feel bad about, “Lance.” I spent many years training and I still train. I take a lot of risks, doing my job. I take more risks running my business, And I pay people decent money, people who come to me with little or no skill, who never wanted anything but a paycheck, and who take no risks at all.

So, when somebody like you wants to school me about the hard working souls who risk their lives for less money than I do......my question is....what’s your f**king point?

Galfer1
Galfer1

Eddie, great comments and articles. If I may, how much Ivermectin were you taking and how often? I read that I should be taking 12mg tablets, twice per month (every 1st & 3rd days). Were you taking tablets, cream, or?? I find it so disheartening that such a simple, readily-available and affordable drug for C-19 has been fashioned into "the bad guys," when it has helped so many and could help SO many more. Ivermectin $1/dose, Remdesivir $500+/dose. Follow the money trail. Thank you.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

This is the recommended prophylaxis.

I will send you a pm with more info.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

My point is to not be judgmental of others. "For even the very wise cannot see all ends”. For my part I am not being judgmental of you, but of your attitude towards others. BTW: I can't see where the FLCCC did an actual scientifically relevant prospective blinded clinical trial of their methods.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

Oh yeah, I probably never sacrificed myself the ways you did. Always the easy way out for me. Hats off to you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14r7y6rM6zA I probably just outed myself as the oldest person on the blog.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

"BTW: I can't see where the FLCCC did an actual scientifically relevant prospective blinded clinical trial of their methods.”

That doesn’t surprise me much, frankly.

Here’s a place to start. If you want to read the details of individual studies, they are out there to find. The FLCCC has been very diligent in trying to get the kind of research you’re talking about done...and it has been and is still being done, all over the world....

"Evidence Base Supporting the Efficacy of Ivermectin in COVID-19 as of January 11, 2021 (RCT’s = randomized controlled trials, OCT’s = observational controlled trials).

Every clinical trial shows a benefit, with RCT’s and OCT’s reporting the same
direction and magnitude; nearly all are statistically significant.

Controlled trials studying the prevention of COVID-19 (8 trials completed)
• 3 RCT’s with large statistically significant reductions in transmission rates, a total of 774 patients

• 5 OCT’s with large statistically significant reductions in transmission rates, a total of 2,052 patients

Controlled trials in the treatment of both early and hospitalized COVID-19 patients (19 trials completed)

• 5 RCT’s with large, significant reductions in time to recovery or hospital length of stay, a total of 774 patients

• 1 RCT with a large, statistically significant reduction in rate of deterioration/hospitalization, total of 363 patients

• 2 RCT’s with significant decreases in viral load, days of anosmia, cough, or time to recovery, a total of 85 patients

• 3 RCT’s with large, significant reductions in mortality, a total of 695 patients

• 3 OCT’s with large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, a total of 1,688 patients

Number of Studies and Patients Among the Existing Clinical Trials of Ivermectin in COVID-19

• 27 controlled trials, including a total of 6,612 patients have been completed using well-matched control groups

• 16 trials, including over 2,500 patients, are prospective, randomized, controlled studies

• 11 of the 27 trials have been published in peer-reviewed journals, 3,900 patients, remainder are in pre-print

Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance – Recommendation on Ivermectin in COVID-19
Even restricting analysis to just the 16 randomized controlled trials (totaling over 2,500 patients), the majority report a statistically significant reduction in transmission or disease progression or mortality. Further, a meta-analysis recently performed by the FLCCC Alliance, based on the totality of the existing evidence, supports an A-I recommendation (NIH rating scheme; strong level, high quality evidence) for the use of ivermectin in both the prophylaxis and treatment of all phases of COVID-19.

Furthermore, we encourage all regulatory agencies to review our manuscript detailing these studies above as well as the multiple population-wide “natural experiments” that occurred in numerous cities and regions after the initiation of ivermectin distribution programs.

The widespread use of ivermectin resulted in a significant reduction in cases and mortality rates that approached pre-pandemic levels in these areas. As evidenced by what occurred in these regions, ivermectin is clearly an essential and vital treatment component in achieving control of the pandemic.

  1. ivmmeta.com

2 Kory P, Meduri GU, Iglesias J, Varon J et al. Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and
Treatment of COVID-19. Open Science Foundation. https://osf.io/wx3zn/

For more information about the FLCCC Alliance, the I-MASK+ Prophylaxis & Early Outpatient Treatment Protocol for COVID-19 and the MATH+ Hospital Treatment Protocol for COVID-19, please visit www.flccc.net”

And btw, I talked to two physicians, one of whom I’ve known for many years, who were using Ivermectin to successfully treat real COVID patients with good success, before I even started reading Marik, who is a great doctor and teaching physician at East Virginia Med.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

"That doesn’t surprise me much, frankly."

Sorry can't understand why you would not do a proper blinded trial.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

My lack of surprise has nothing to do with the relevant research. It has to do with YOUR ability to adequately survey the pertinent literature and make pronouncements that mean anything. Just because you aren’t AWARE of the research doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done.

They ARE doing properly blinded trials...but in an viral epidemic, there can be reasons to use a drug with known antiviral properties (and a known wide safety margin) off label to see if it’s efficacious, and if appears to work, to continue to use it while studies are ongoing.

FLCCC did a meta study on on hydroxychloroquine too, and found it had NO benefit. These guys are not amateurs...they are well-qualified clinicians who understand the need for evidence based medicine, and they have aggregated substantial evidence for a year now, all of which points to ivermectin being safe and efficacious.....and that re-inforces the anecdotal findings of the guys using it initially as a Hail Mary.

But I’m sure your qualifications are way better. Where do you practice medicine, Lance?

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

You just pissed me off with your reference to other essential workers risking their lives for a lot less money than what I make. That is surely some kind of value judgment on your part, Lance.

As far as I can see, money is completely irrelevant to the discussion. They risk their life to do their job and I risk my life to do mine. WTF does it matter if I make more money?

I don’t sacrifice myself.....but like I said, I certainly paid my dues, and I don’t have to take shit off people who want to just take me down a notch. I have nothing else to say on this matter, and if you want to keep talking I see no reason to respond. Knock yourself out.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

I never said I wanted to take you down a notch. Just to have empathy for others. I get it that is not your thing.

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

Since you are not going to reply. Yes it does matter how much coin you are getting for the time you are putting in. An assistant probably makes $15 per hour while the principal is getting $150. So I would want to be the principal for putting my life on the line. But that is just me. Yeah, I am just a worthless prol, but it is the way it is.

Galfer1
Galfer1

I've no idea how to send a PM, but am very interested in reading more about what you've learned. Thanks much.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I sent you one already. Click on the 3 parallel lines at the upper left of the web page and you will see a menu. Click on “direct message” and you will find it.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

With 500,000 dead in the US and more globally, it should be enough data to make a determination/guesstimation about who is most likely to die from covid. Take blood samples, scan the dna and tell the rest of us who is susceptible from dying.

If people knew that they can act more prudently than living in fear.

Sechel
Sechel

I could see that, especially for people who have a risk factor or are in a very public setting

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

The key is vaccination. Even with the variants you can look at the curve in a place like Israel and see it clearly. We certainly don’t need to let up on our efforts to get everyone vaccinated, and no one should fail to understand that it isn’t merely about them, but about everyone.

This is what good COVID policy gets you.

njbr
njbr

Common courtesy would help, too.

There are too many stories of people working their jobs attacked and villified for asking for patrons mask-wearing, or attacked just because the worker is wearing a mask.

numike
numike
The B117 variant is spreading out from Michigan, driving increased hospitalizations in Illinois, among other midwest states.

Seems just a matter of time until it takes root in the unvaccinated here and causes some significant rises in hospitalizations. Increased vaccination can blunt that, but who knows how much, what with all those who'll refuse the shot.

Michigan is nuts, even with 22% fully vaccinated they're seeing more infections than ever, and might double the holiday peak before the end.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

This recovery is strong, but it's nowhere near as strong as reported or believed.

Who said it was being over-reported as strong or believed ? Most of the front-running goes on by financial outlets like the Street.com.

RonJ
RonJ

"Fear of Getting or Spreading Covid"

Not surprising, considering the non stop fear mongering. Weeks ago, there was a new variant here, the California variant, which was supposed to be more contagious, yet the number of Covid cases has dropped to the point where indoor dining is now allowed in L.A. County.

Apparently the CDC has just now updated its instructions as to dealing with potential surface contact, noting that “In most situations, the risk of infection from touching surfaces is low."

QMRA studies apparently "suggest that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection via the fomite transmission route is low, and generally less than 1 in 10,000, which means that each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection."

ColoradoAccountant
ColoradoAccountant

You can't get Covid sitting at home grammar checking Mish. Sunday to Saturday is a week, not a weak.

Landofmountains
Landofmountains

Get real, most of these people are still living a social life and not even giving the virus a thought. They aren’t going back to work because they are making too much money on unemployment.


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