Unemployment rose to 14.7% in April. This is the highest rate since The Great Depression, although this specific statistic only dates back to January 1948. Over 33.5M people have filed an initial unemployment claim in the past seven weeks. With Fridays’ press release, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there were 33M unemployed workers at the end of April (23.1M unemployed + 9.9M not in the labor force who currently want a job).
Nevertheless, let me be clear: look for a job now.
There are not 33M people actively looking for work right now. There are three groups of people who are not looking. First, there are 18.1M furloughed workers who hope to be recalled as the economy recovers. Second, there are 574K discouraged workers* who have given up hope.
Third, there are many people making more money each month on unemployment than they were making in January. They are collecting up to $365 per week from the State of Georgia, plus an additional $600 per week through the CARES Act. That’s a rate of more than $50K per year.
Many of you have asked me how long these benefits will last. In Georgia, if the seasonally adjusted UI rate is 9.0% or above, the maximum number of weeks a person can receive benefits is 20. The Federal benefit of $600 is scheduled to end on July 31. You will be competing for jobs with these folks beginning in August.
Of the 14.3M who are not furloughed or not looking, I estimate two-thirds of them are not yet looking because of the CARES benefits. So, don’t think you are in a job market with 33M seekers; it is more like 5M.
Do everything you can do to find a job now; and leave to God what only He can do.
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*Discouraged workers are those who have looked for a job in the past 12 months but not in the last four weeks.
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Dave O’Farrell helps his clients shorten their search, earn more money, and get better results. He helps employers soften the blow when they have to let employees go by offering the very best outplacement service on the planet. Reach out to Dave through his LinkedIn page.