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► The unemployment rate in the United States has reached a level not seen since the Great Depression. As Vox.com reports:
The US shed 20.5 million jobs, and the unemployment rate surged to 14.7 percent in April, according to preliminary data released by the US Department of Labor Friday morning — worse than any unemployment rate on record in modern data, and higher than anything experienced since the Great Depression.
To make matters even worse, this figure almost certainly understates the true situation. April unemployment numbers are released in May based on surveys that took place during the week that contained April 12. And since April 12 in the US, things have only gotten worse: The initial unemployment insurance claims figures released in the final two weeks of April indicate that the labor market continued to deteriorate at a rapid pace, albeit slightly less rapidly than in the first weeks.
Ernie Tedeschi, a labor market economist, projected Thursday based on real-time data that the current unemployment rate is actually 20 percent. And in the jobs report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said it believes murky classification of temporary unemployment in the household survey caused the official number to be about 5 percentage points lower.
As Denver7 reports, about 420,000 Coloradans have filed unemployment claims in the last seven weeks.
► Don’t worry too much about the current state of affairs, because The Economy Fairy is here to save us! From Greg Sargent at The Washington Post:
President Trump’s campaign has already telegraphed its argument along these lines. And at its core is one of Trump’s biggest and most insulting lies yet.
The claim is that, having once created the most spectacular economy in the known universe, he will now do so a second time.
“We built the greatest economy the world has ever seen,” Trump intones in a major new ad campaign. “And we’re going to do it again.” That ad heralds “the greatest comeback story,” which in truth signals an extraordinarily audacious and propagandistic rewriting of recent history.
For all of you who already understand full well that Trump had virtually nothing to do with the pre-coronavirus economy, this is your stop:
Trump didn’t build the pre-coronavirus economy he hails as his own. He inherited its major trends. This is true by just about every major metric, such as job growth and the decline in the unemployment rate, both of which had been steady during the Obama years and carried over into Trump’s presidency.
► The Donald Trump Justice Department announced on Thursday afternoon that it was DROPPING ITS CASE against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn…even though Flynn has repeatedly admitted guilt for his crimes. Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post calls it “another corrupt act by the most corrupt attorney general ever,” in reference to AG William Barr. National Public Radio tries to understand how this is even happening, while Charlie Savage of The New York Times sums things up with a single lede:
The Justice Department’s decision to drop the criminal case against Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, even though he had twice pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, was extraordinary and had no obvious precedent, a range of criminal law specialists said on Thursday. [Pols emphasis]
The New York Times reportedly separately on Thursday that the White House had been preparing for President Trump to issue a pardon for Flynn, but advisers urged Trump to
let the Justice Department do it for him wait a little longer.
► Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), who moonlights as the State Republican Party Chair (or vice-versa) is caught trying to force a local Republican official to put a candidate on the Primary ballot who failed to qualify through the caucus/assembly process. Conrad Swanson of The Denver Post updates a story that is quickly going from worse to worser for Buck:
Kris Cook, chair of the Denver Republican Party, found out about it Wednesday only to hear hours later that Buck canceled a committee meeting that had been scheduled for Friday.
“We’re touching on something here that’s not quite clean, and it’s not quite the image I have of what the party ought to be,” Cook said, later adding: “I think it’s worth questioning whether him in that role is going to have a negative effect on the rest of this cycle.” [Pols emphasis]
We’ll go ahead and answer that one now: Yes.
If you’re looking for political news that isn’t about Coronavirus, it’s available right after the jump…