The number of new claims for unemployment for week ending 9/26/20 has been about the same over the last five weeks, in the mid- to high 800 thousands. Last big drop was the week of 8/29/20. To again put this in context, before the government induced shutdown of the economy new claims averaged about 220,000 per week.
Good news is the number of continuing claims for unemployment is continuing to drop, which means that more people are going back to work than loosing their job.
The devastating impact of the economic shutdown continues to be painfully obvious.
Starting this week that way the information is presented for this ongoing analysis will be in graphs.
We have been locked down long enough for the volume of statistics to build up to the point of allowing deeper analysis. As is always the case, the statistics can also be manipulated to give whatever answer you want. Deeper, honest analysis is starting to show surprising results, for example, the lack of correlation between infection rates and lockdown policies.
Surprising results on the low correlation will be mentioned after some game playing is described.
The annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota routinely draws huge numbers of people to the town, whose population is only 7,000 people. Attendance at the 10-day event this year was lower than usual with an estimated 460,000 motorcycle enthusiasts hanging around.
Frightening news reports at the time said this would cause massive numbers of Covid infections leading to massive numbers of deaths.
In news over the last few days, Rev. Dr. John MacArthur said he would start a jail ministry if County officials toss him in the slammer, the Archbishop of San Francisco stands up to de facto shutdown of Masses, and one church concedes to the severe pressures from Santa Clara County.
Growing indications point towards ongoing damage to learning at all educational levels due to the shut down. From kindergartners to college students there will be losses of learning time and knowledge.
Older students will be able to catch up. Motivated students will get through. I fear youngsters in particular and unmotivated students in general will suffer permanent damage from the lockdown.
Consider all the damage described in the following articles is a result of a public policy choice made by a host of state and local officials.
The Dispatch – 9/10/20 – The sad realities of virtual learning. – Looks like kindergartners are disappearing from schools. Enrollment in Los Angeles Unified School District is down 14% from a year ago.
Check out the lengthy list of specific requirements imposed by the County of Los Angeles before a church can worship on campus. Pastor John MacArthur describes the requirements placed on Grace Community Church.
After I go through the requirements ponder how you would summarize these restrictions.
Ponder whether the net effect is to strangle worship.
Then ponder whether the net effect is an intentional strategy.
For the third time since start of the recession, the number of new claims for unemployment for the week ending 9/5/20 was below the 1,000,000 mark. For contrast, before the government induced shutdown of the economy, new claims averaged about 220,000 per week.
On the other hand, the number of new claims was flat for the week – the damage from the shutdown in terms of new claims did not go down.
As I continue to sort out for myself what this means, will keep listing the stats I’m tracking.
The number of new claims for unemployment and number drawing unemployment is provided by Department of Labor. I calculated the net change, which I assume represents the number of new jobs, although could also be that people dropping out of the job market could wash into that number:
Circumstances are now to the point in the state of California, and three counties in particular, where we can say that the government is now persecuting the Church. This presents itself as counties going after three specific congregations, but when you look at the details you see a broader pattern in play.
A few updates to previous posts before getting to the main discussion.
The County of Los Angeles has unilaterally canceled the lease on land which provides something in the range of 40% or 50% of parking capacity for Grace Community Church. Oh, the lease has been in place for 45 years.
North Valley Baptist Church is now facing $52,000 in fines for the heinous offense of worshiping indoors. Keep in mind this is the church which was visited by spies from the county. It certainly appears that Santa Clara is acting like the Stasi back in about old days of East Germany. The pastor declared “We Are Not Closing down This Church” – California Pastor Warns Officials.
The article also provides the biblical explanation for standing up to unbiblical government rules.
These efforts will ultimately fail.
There may be short-term successes for the government.
There may be intermediate-term successes.
These efforts will fail.
Standing up for constitutional rights in court.
Los Angeles County doesn’t realize they have taken on a church that will not back down. I will make an easy guess that Grace Community Church will put whatever effort in time and dollars that it takes to stand up in court even if it involves going to state appeal court, then federal appeal, then US Supreme Court.
After shooting from 3.4% in February to 14.7% in April, the headline unemployment rate has dropped to 8.4% in August.
You will interpret the statistics as you wish.
Looks to me like people are slowing getting back to work after the shock of the pandemic and follow-on government-ordered shutdown of the economy.
There are six different measures of unemployment, each providing a slightly different perspective. Put them all together for a more complex picture the economy.
At the top is a graph since 2007 of U-3, the headline statistic, along with U-6, the broadest stat which includes discouraged workers, marginally attached, and those working part time because they can’t find full time work.
For a closer picture, focus in on the stats since January 2019:
Check out any of the pictures from the rally and you will notice a distinct lack of masks and social distancing.
Expectations in most media sources were for this event to produce massive amounts of infection.
Half a million people. In one town.
The tracking results are in from the massive numbers of people who were infected and the resulting fatalities from this massive event.
It is shocking. Amazing. Head-shaking. Astounding.
Best info available is that:
196 people tested positive for COVID with results linked to attending Sturgis.
4 people died.
To put that in context, 5 people died of motorcycle accidents in Sturgis during the rally.
Growing awareness something is wrong with lockdowns
8/24/20 – Wall Street Journal – New Thinking on COVID Lockdowns: They are Overly Blunt and Costly – Article has a massive amount of information on the course of the pandemic, wide range of strategies by national and state governments, and large volume of statistics. The story is told basically scrambled egg style with no pattern or trends or storylines that I can easily summarize.
Over the last several weeks I have accumulated a number of articles describing the economic and health damage caused by the government ordered shutdown of the economy.
I’ve been wanting to post these for a while. In light of the California government imposing more severe constraints on when the economy will be allowed to start functioning again, it is now time to publish.
I was going to extend this two-part series to three, adding on an upbeat explanation that when counties go after the Church the government is destined to fail. Reference to Church with an upper case C refers to the worldwide church, the universal, invisible body of Christ instead of meaning one particular local congregation.
Planned for the next post to give a small illustration expanding out to wider examples in history and then going back to New Testament illustrations.
Then a news report yesterday about petty retaliation from Los Angeles County interrupted, showing I need a different post as the next discussion.
So, for your daily dose of shake-my-head amazement, consider…
Update: Decided to make this a 3 part series. Next post – the effort to suppress religious freedom will not succeed.
Efforts to restrict the first amendment right of free expression of religion are growing in strength here in California. At least three counties are participating in the effort.
Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church are standing in the gap, but other churches are also receiving pressure including planted spies, as discussed below. This is second article in this specific series.
Previous post gave recap of enforcement efforts against Grace Community Church. At end of this post there is a great comment from the GCC elders why the state dictacts are a direct restriction of religious expression