According to a recent release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.5 million more Americans have filed for initial unemployment claims. While the number of claims has decreased from its peak from March this year, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits is still extremely high.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending June 6 were in California (+27,202), Massachusetts (+17,512), Oklahoma (+17,149), New York (+11,873), and Maryland (+9,718).
The unemployment rate, now officially at 13.3% as of May 2020, has eclipsed the rate from all previous crises of the last 70 years.
The capitalist mode of production is characterized by periodic crises of overproduction which occur roughly every decade. During periods of crisis, workers lose their jobs in large quantities and unemployment figures soar.
The Trump administration is attempting to use the overall trend of the unemployment figures to portray an image of a rapidly improving economy.
Larry Kudlow, the Trump administration chief economic advisor, said, “… weekly unemployment claims fell for the 11th straight week. That’s a good sign. We’re going to have job numbers in June, and I think we’ll be very strong. I agree with Steven; I think the rescue plan worked. I think the PPP was superhuman. It probably saved 55 million jobs.”
Despite the decrease over time, millions of Americans are still unemployed and swelling the reserve army of labor. The statistics demonstrate that even the official government figures which underestimate unemployment are without comparison in the last 70 years. No matter what the Trump administration says, their attempt to stop or remediate the crisis has failed, just like their predecessors. This is because crises of overproduction are endemic to the capitalist mode of production which can only be fundamentally resolved with a socialist, planned economy run in the interest of the workers.