People Who Want A Job Now, Average Duration Of Unemployment Both Hit All Time Highs

Tyler Durden's picture

Two charts that confirm that the US economy is, and has been for the past 3 years, in nothing short of a depression.

And average duration of unemployment which just hit 39.7 weeks. Another record. (chart courtesy of John Lohman)


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hugovanderbubble's picture

Thx Tyler & John Lohman,


Very Indicative of the farce divergence between Main Street and Wall Banksters Street.

midtowng's picture

The average duration on unemployment isn't even comparable to anything in recent history.

This should be obvious to anyone with a brain that something is seriously wrong.

A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

I dunno. My Dad says that it's beacuse people are lazy.


But, then again, he watches Fox News while sitting naked in the dark with a loaded gun.

citizen2084's picture

Your lucky to have such a grand ole dad


jerry_theking_lawler's picture

most importantly, does he have his stash of physical metals next to him too...if so, then he is what we here on ZH called 'prepared'...

TheTmfreak's picture

I wonder how much unemployment can be blamed on minimum wages. No doubt about it at least during the "Great Depression" you could hire people to do some sort of work just because you didn't have to pay them more than the work was worth / health care / unemployment insurance / social security / medicare and so on.

youngman's picture

unfortunatly a lot would be hired with simplier and less regulations...costs...
We will be back to the HOBO days soon....when you can hire a laboror for a day...for cash...key up Woodie Guthrie music....

RKDS's picture

I'm sorry but how fucking stupid do you have to be to genuinely believe that lack of money is what's holding the super-rich back from anything?

Jayda1850's picture

If you get rid of the minimum wage, unemployment would be 6% by this time next year. Congress would never do it, but I would much rather have someone getting paid $4-$5 an hour getting on the job training and learning a skill than sitting at home collecting taxpayer money. Here's an idea, eliminate the minimum wage and to assuage all the liberals, any pay under the minimum wage isn't subject to income tax.

Mountainview's picture

They can't even afford Prosac anymore!!!! Really depressing! and not the slightest idea how to get out of it!

TheTmfreak's picture

I completely agree.

I think at first you'll see people pick their nose up to being paid less, but eventually would have no choice if you removed the support systems.

As long as welfare is more profitable (and provides you significantly more personal time to do what you want) than working a job for less (even significantly) less money than they'll do welfare. It is hard to blame them. The only blame i'd put on them is the lack of for sight that sooner or later you'll have to start working again and by then you'll have been out of a job for quite some time and have to result to unskilled labor, rather than moving forward by taking the "suck it up now for it to possibly pay later."

MachoMan's picture

Forcing the shackles on the mouth breathers is a noble effort and all, and probably inevitable, but it's difficult to envision that going over so well without gutting the top tiers as well...  somehow, we're going to have to differentiate between those merely "playing the game" within the reasonable confines of the system and those unreasonably bending/breaking the rules/creating them.  Not an easy task...

But, we can't have one without the other...  not with the wealth gap where it is.

Bob's picture

While reason still prevails, at least.

TheTmfreak's picture

Thats the root of something I've been harping on for a very long time.


"The rich are the bad guys." Uhh... well maybe some, but certainly not all.

Not an easy task is even an over-simplification of it. On some level every single person is guilty of the corruption that we all bitch about.  While I think the wealth gap is an issue, I think there are potentially ways around it other than just "redistribution of wealth." One way is to stop valuing what makes up their wealth. Fiat money based on a fiat rigged system.

Ok i can't pay people beneath a minimum wage? Well I guess i can always trade their services for something like silver pieces. Or hell if need be (in tougher times) pay them in food. "Will work for food"


Elliott Eldrich's picture

Two men want a billion dollars. One wants it to build a factory, hire people, make good products and benefit the community. The other wants a solid platinum statue of themselves outside their palace. Two people, both want a billion dollars, but one wants to do something that will benefit many, the other wants to benefit their ego. So maybe it really doesn't have so much to do with wealth as with intent?

foofoojin's picture

what are good products?  and why isn't a statue a good product? is building a factory in a land full of factories really the best use of capital?  isn't it more efficient and less risky to have the statue built. the artist is sure to go through time of starvation and spend down that money. as opposed to mafia run factories? what if the factory kills one father/brother/mother/sister a year? a month?

MachoMan's picture

How do you take wealth from some and give it to others without a redistribution of wealth?  You're probably in the "devaluation is not default" camp...  while I realize objectivity is an impossibility while within the confines of the human condition, there's no need to sprint the other way.

How can we stop valuing every asset class in existence?  Do wealthy people solely have ethereal dollars?  Are we not witnessing the final conversions of paper into real assets?  We're at the end of a really, really long play here...  not only is a tear jerker, but every cast member is at the top of his game.  (even I can't fall asleep it's so good!)

A future where people merely work for food is a captured future...  one of grave concern to all (the puppeteers may turn on you at any time).  It is exactly what will happen if we turn "free" market principles loose without leveling the playing field first... 

Rich people are not the bad guys necessarily...  the problem is that the rich are giving no one else the wherewithal to differentiate between them.  (see generally captured regulatory environment, retarded prosecutors, captured media, retarded AGs, dishonest administration, retarded congress, etc.)...  while we all benefit or are guilty of accepting the monetary largesse of our printers in charge, there can be substantial debate as to whether those benefits have been repaid via the inflation tax...  I'm not sure that same defense works for those at the top of the wealth gap... 

falardea's picture

Do you mean welfare or unemployment insurance...?  Because unemployment, as much as you may not like it, is paid into by those that work.  It is part of the pay structure.

TheTmfreak's picture

Not quite.

Unemployment is paid by employers. Unemployment insurance (at varying levels) is required to hire employees so that even if you have very low paid employees the costs must increase.

Normally I might agree with you on "its part of the pay" in other words, calculate it with the total cost of employing, but when we are talking about a minimum wage that isn't the case. Minimum wage says that you must pay them that amount AND unemployment insurance. So that is paid PURELY by the company at that point.

falardea's picture

Fair enough, at that level I can certainly see how it is not part of the pay structure.  I was salaried exempt before becoming one of those statistics, and I might have been looking for a fight.  ;)

TheTmfreak's picture

Good to see people can come to an agreement on ideas.

I'm all about getting rid of these "benefits." All it is is less money that a company can give you to do what you want. Right now my job gives me all sorts of benefits i don't use. They account that into their bills and since I don't use them THEY DON"T HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM. They pocket the money.

Fuck that. I want my money. The only time I think they actually become benefits is if they get a hook up from their provider (lets say medical insurance) and you actually do get cheaper insurance as part of a package deal with a company. Other than that, its milking the position at your expense.

But again, all of that doesn't apply to minimum wage specifically. It adds to the overall cost of employing a person and thats what the entire debate is all about. Increased total costs = less employment = likely less production (without innovation to remove the requirement to hire people). If you remove the tools of competition you have failure. Its really that simple. You have to have production (people or robots) if you can't have production because it costs to much and you can't out-innovate your way out, you fail. The post by Tyler clearly implies that we are not going to innovate or lower costs our way out of this one.

RKDS's picture

If corporate taxes are paid by customers, then Goddamnit unemployment and both sides of SS/MC are paid by employees.

TheTmfreak's picture

You need to reread everything I've said because clearly you don't understand the argument nor my position. I've already stated that unemployment and SS/MC are paid by employees EXCEPT when it comes to MINIMUM WAGES. Because there is a minimum wage you cannot make that argument for minimum wage workers.


Henry Chinaski's picture

meanwhile the unemployed become unemployable and a new generation doesn't even have a chance to learn how to work

and people think that the minimum  wage is compassionate

TheTmfreak's picture

I read yesterday that what.. 83% of people polled think a higher minimum wage is better? I through the idea, yeah Venezuela thinks that too but funny how its not working.


I'd say its not compassion, its disarming and pathetic.


Edit: There was a great quote from the Atlas Shrugged Part 1 movie about this. something along the lines of "you want me to give workers jobs, but give them no jobs to do." The government basically says that you either give them the money we want you to give them for the job (regardless of the job) or you don't hire them.  Fucking wow.

Here is the situation. I need help picking some soy beans... Man I sure could use some help... hey you out of work guy can you help me do this? I can only pay you 5 dollars an hour to do this work... In comes the government, hey unless you're going to give them health insurance, unemployment insurance, medicare, dental, vision, and college education you can't hire them. "Ok, well i guess we are both fucked because I can't hire him."

Rynak's picture

Actually, if you would divide the total amount of cash needed for living costs of the population... by the number of required workhours...... you'd see that wages should be about 200 percent of what they are now.

Thinking that a reduction in wage would magically create more required workhours in the industry, is so incredibly stupid, and complicit in the enslavement of the population, that i for safety reasons shouldn't even attempt explain it.... and i'm not talking about my safety.


Short version: Creating poverty to push wages down has been the plan and execution since at least 20 years. They're basically extorting workers.

TheGoodDoctor's picture

Agreed. Minimum wage does not keep up with inflation. But the self important rubes here don't realize this and most if not all have never worked for and lived on a minimum wage. So they can't speak to the poverty level. Even these assholes go to the store and buy gas. So, why won't you work for $4 an hour then? What makes you so much better than anyone that you can decide that minimum wage should be abolished. What in the fuck can you buy for $160 a week much less than $290 a week? These self righteous dickheads have no fucking clue.

If you make minimum wage you are barely above poverty. And I am sure the government poverty numbers are not right either. Businesses don't hand out "unlimited" raises either do they now? Usually there is only so much you can get and generally it's capped at COLA. And many don't even keep up with inflation. So it is a losing game all around.

Eventually there will be a wage disconnect where people can't buy anything. No demand, no jobs, no one paying in taxes. It's getting closer. The only reason this has worked this way for 20 years as you say is because NAFTA allowed us to import cheap goods so even on minimum wage you didn't seem too poor. Oh and the credit boom. Don't forget that. Wages have been flat since 1970. Everyone is getting poor aside from the top 10%. Tyler posted an article here at ZH with nice charts and everything awhile back.

DeltaDawn's picture

This would only lead to trailer trucks full of immigrants who see opportunity and more natives seeking out government benefits because they don't.

TheTmfreak's picture

That doesn't happen now?

The jobs that aren't being fullfilled by "legals" are being fullfilled illegally, regardless of the minimum wage.

Minimum wage states that if the person is legal they are not allowed to work unless it is for a certain wage.

Minimum wage also states that if the person is NOT-legal, they can work for any wage. Laws do not fix shit like this, it only makes it worse and those who choose to abide by the law get screwed.

MachoMan's picture

So long as there is a presumption of government benefits, both legals and illegals will be clawing for it...  the only difference being the illegals may be more inclined to find odd jobs off the books...  at least the first generation or so.

Henry Chinaski's picture

More than likely it would lead to hoards of young people filling entry level, unskilled and part time jobs, leaving funds for employers to expand, compete and hire more people at every wage level. 

Coersion is the most ineffecient, expensive and ultimately violent solution to a problem.  Once you "get" that, the best solutions become easier to see.  Nearly every economic and social problem confronting us today can be improved with more liberty, rather than more coersion.

TheTmfreak's picture

Its already well shown that the most unemployed are the youth who want jobs. They can't get jobs because its fairly common knowledge that people would rather hire somebody who has a family than a youth.


This is all built into social dynamics. Regardless of whether we think it is right or not, people are not going to hire youth over others who "need it more." Particularly when the cost benefit really doesn't make much of a difference.

DeltaDawn's picture

This would only lead to trailer trucks full of immigrants who see opportunity and more natives seeking out government benefits because they don't.

Glasater55's picture

I have been thinking along these lines for quite some time. Great idea.

Ying-Yang's picture

Yeah and who determines what someone is work? It is pretty sad when a person supporting a family tries to make ends meet on a Walmart job.....

You think most CEOs are worth their pay and bennies? What is the worth of a fireman when he saves your kid's life. Grow up!

tmosley's picture

Uhhh, he's talking about a minimum wage, and you say the minimum wage is good because CEOs get paid too much when we have minimum wages in place?

You are saying minimum wages are good?  But the problems you describe exist NOW, in the presence of a minimum wage.

Don't you get it?  Just because a job is paid the minimum wage now doesn't mean that if you drop the minimum wage, the job will continue to pay that much, even if it goes to zero.  Those jobs will still pay the same amount.  It just means that new jobs will open.  Less capital will be deployed in the hopes of avoiding paying more people a minimum wage.  IE you will see self checkouts disappear, replaced with more human checkers.  Dishwashing machines are replaced with humans.  Automation is replaced with low paying jobs for the young and the desperate.

Yet you seem to prefer that the young and the desperate would have no options.  You would force them into perpetual poverty that crosses generations.

Pretty shitty of you, if you ask me.

TheTmfreak's picture

Probably one of your more coherent posts lately. Also probably the strongest. 

Katow-jo's picture

Disagree completely.  A few years ago I used to work in retail; average raise given every year was about $.25.  They based this off a whole years performance, with a possibility of something like a $.75 raise if you kicked ass.  Well, about a month before reviews they would come down hard on every single employee for any and everything just to lower your raise as much as possible.  Long story short, the goverment approved a minimum wage hike and my pay shot up $1.50 immediately, equivalent to a few YEARS of raises.


Without government intervention in how employers treat their workers, they will pay everyone pennies, because where else will you work?  Government is needed in some form to create an even playing field against very powerful corporate interests, which means minimum wage,  minimum age, OSHA, etc. 

TheTmfreak's picture

Here we go.... "Because my pay increased minimum wage is justified."  Again go look at venezuela. If you need help finding this information let me know and I'll hook you up. They have HUGE minimum wage increases every year, guess what they don't work.

I've been in the same shoes as you but in my opinion you're completely off base with the blame.

Where else are they going to work? There are still PLENTY of places, in fact there used to be more, but due to ever increasing government intervention these mega companies have grown larger. (Also you could always work for YOURSELF) Guess what, retail used to be mom and pop shops that didn't do what you claim business does. Let me guess you buy products and shop at these big business you hate so much? Stop buying into the scheme and bitching about it. (I'm making the assumption you do, especially since this is probably the most common thing). You still have a choice, don't support them.

You really think the government and corporations work differently? Government creates unintended concequences just as much as corporations do. Corporations do things like "minimum wage increases" as well. Thats your .25 given every year. Because of the extreme top down dynamics of those companies they try to skirt around and improve their looks by doing exactly what you said. Government does the same shit. Don't blame business, blame BIG business and big government for that.

One last statement. For every minimum wage increase is less people employeed to employ you. Look around you at  youth employment numbers. Nobody can afford to employ these people so while some may get raises, less people are employeed and they are required to do more work for arguably LESS pay.

Missiondweller's picture

Also, we have 11 million illegal immigrants.

Here in CA, many of the make work jobs someone might take to make ends meet are done by illegal aliens. An unemployed citizen can't get a temp job as a painter for example.

TheTmfreak's picture


Someone living in reality.

I tell people all the time that if I didn't have student loan debt I'd quit my job and become a construction worker. But then I know when I say that, its not true because there is no way I'd get hired.

blunderdog's picture

There are few million young folks working what used to be considered lower-middle class jobs FOR FREE because there's not enough work out there, and you're harping on the minimum wage.  Uy uy uy.

Newsflash: you can't do better than FREE.  And there's not enough work.

misterc's picture

America is in the trash!


(Seriously, my fellow Germans who live in SoCal are astounded how expensive food items have become)

DeltaDawn's picture

Tone down the rhetoric...we are in the recycling bins.

Use of Weapons's picture

PC term is freeganism these days - its moved up a social class

topcallingtroll's picture

Freegan chics are really fun.

Join your local chapter of food not bombs.

serotonindumptruck's picture

Another new PC term:

Urban Foraging (aka, dumpster diving)

magpie's picture

Meanwhile on this side of the Atlantic, let us combine our charity for Greece with genuine PM-buggery, say instead of Eurobonds the government starts minting the silver 10 € for 20 , the seigniorage mostly going to help the poor Hellenic Republic.

The Notgroschen could have a nice engraving of the exploding Acropolis and an empty Ouzo bottle.