Trump administration wants states to zip their lips about soaring unemployment numbers

Fox Business / YouTube US Labor Department inspector general reveals 1584720344.jpg...
Fox Business / YouTube

Unemployment is skyrocketing as entire industries shut down or scale back dramatically in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Unemployment claims rose 30% last week, with 281,000 newly jobless people filing for unemployment insurance. But the numbers that are still to come are going to be much worse. How much worse? Well, the Labor Department is asking states not to give any numbers until the official report comes out, because the financial markets will see and it will be bad.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department’s administrator of the Office of Employment Insurance (a career official, not a political appointee) sent state officials an email telling them to “provide information using generalities to describe claims levels (very high, large increase).” Perhaps state officials should pay a visit to Thesaurus.com for some help, and tell the public, “We can’t give you exact numbers here, but there has been an enormous/giant/gigantic/hefty/huge increase in unemployment claims this week. For exact numbers, wait until the federal government releases them next week.” That will surely ease anxieties!

Washington state’s new unemployment claims rose by 150% last week—and while officials there aren’t giving numbers, they did say there’s an “even more dramatic increase this week.” In Pennsylvania, a state labor official told lawmakers and union leaders that there had been 180,000 new unemployment claims in recent days. That’s more than the state typically sees in a month.

It sounds like we might need to go back to the thesaurus to convey the magnitude of the job losses going on. How about gargantuan? Immense? Massive?

Or maybe—here’s a thought—numbers. Waiting until Thursday to know the scope of the economic crisis is not going to calm anyone down. We saw that when Donald Trump attempted to downplay the coronavirus crisis because he was worried about how the markets would respond, and the markets tanked anyway. Everyone knows things are really, really, really bad out there. Knowing that the government is being transparent would at least be one piece of good news.

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6 Comments on "Trump administration wants states to zip their lips about soaring unemployment numbers"

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Gunther
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Gunther

Too bad. We need the truth.

canadeeana
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canadeeana

the truth????? from #LiarInChief???? are you serious????

William J Stefens
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William J Stefens

How about clusterf#@& as an adjective to describe Trump’s handling of this crises. Along with the suggestion for Trump to resign immediately as the first best step to begin to get our country back from these incompetent, irresponsible elitist grifters who are in the Whitehouse right now.

Lou
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It could get to 2 million by next week. Things are falling apart for trump, everyday things are flopping. People no jobs, no money, no stock, and good people are dying daily. We need to stop this ourselves, trump should step aside or quit,so we can put people with experience with this MAJOR PROBLEM.ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
People should step up, an d push trumps incapable people aside to resolve, we don’t need idiots directing us we know the way.

chris whitley
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chris whitley

Yeah we got to keep that market going. Well it will soon go down in flames along with the trump crime family.

fishouttaH2o
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fishouttaH2o

You’d have to be willfully stupid to not know there’s a problem with unemployed people. It’s only going to get worse. He’s already wiped out all of our nation’s treasure. Now they’re arguing about which rich corporations get bailouts. Cruise line industry? Seriously? Their ships are registered in foreign countries so they don’t have to pay taxes in America. Let the Countries they’re registered in pay them, why should we? I’d rather my tax dollars go to protective equipment for our health care workers. trump’s negligence is going to kill us all.