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progree's Journal
progree's Journal
September 24, 2020

Total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Sept 5 was 26.0 M

More than 824,000 Americans file for unemployment as economy slowly rebounds, Charisse Jones, USA TODAY

blah blah 824,542 blah blah

USA TODAY is now using non-seasonally adjusted jobless claims numbers because the Labor Department has switched to a different method to adjust the data based on seasonal factors, such as school workers losing jobs in June. The old method resulted in adjustments that dramatically inflated the number of claims filed during the global health crisis.

More: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/09/24/unemployment-claims-824-542-file-jobless-benefits-amid-covid-19/3505241001/


From the source, 830 am ET 9/24/20

In the week ending September 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 870,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 6,000 from 860,000 to 866,000. The 4-week moving average was 878,250, a decrease of 35,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,500 from 912,000 to 913,500.

... The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending September 12 was 12,580,000, a decrease of 167,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up 119,000 from 12,628,000 to 12,747,000. The 4-week moving average was 13,040,750, a decrease of 478,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 29,750 from 13,489,000 to 13,518,750.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 824,542 in the week ending September 19, an increase of 28,527 (or 3.6 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 23,891 (or 3.0 percent) from the previous week. There were 175,394 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019. In addition, for the week ending September 19, 52 states reported 630,080 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending September 5 was 26,044,952, a decrease of 3,723,513 from the previous week. There were 1,488,601 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2019. [Unfortunately there's a 2 1/2 week lag in this statistic. The week ending Sept 5 is the latest there is for this -Progree]
September 21, 2020

Covid era Restaurant closures in Minnesota - map, list


(they apparently keep an up-to-date running tally)
September 13, 2020

Longtime climate science denier hired at NOAA (David Legates)

David Legates, a University of Delaware professor of climatology who has spent much of his career questioning basic tenets of climate science, has been hired for a top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Legates confirmed to NPR that he was recently hired as NOAA's deputy assistant secretary of commerce for observation and prediction. The position suggests that he reports directly to Neil Jacobs, the acting head of the agency that is in charge of the federal government's sprawling weather and climate prediction work.


In 2007, Legates was one of the authors of a paper that questioned previous findings about the role of climate change in destroying the habitat of polar bears. That research was partially funded by grants from Koch Industries, the lobbying group the American Petroleum Institute and ExxonMobil, according to InsideClimate News.


Legates also appeared in a video pushing the discredited theory that the sun is the cause of global warming. In testimony before the U.S. Senate in 2014, Legates argued that a climate science report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change erroneously stated that humans are causing global warming.


Michael Mann: "At a time when those impacts are playing out before our very eyes in the form of unprecedented wildfires out West and super-storms back East, I cannot imagine a more misguided decision than to appoint someone like Legates to a position of leadership at an agency that is tasked with assessing the risks we face from extreme weather events."

Read more (NPR): https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/09/12/npr-longtime-climate-science-denier-hired-at-noaa

Yes, he's funded by fossil fuel interests and affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a leading climate denial think tank.
September 1, 2020

Amazon Drivers Are Hanging Smartphones in Trees To Get More Work in desperate economy

Amazon Drivers Are Hanging Smartphones in Trees to Get More Work, Bloomberg 9/1/20

A strange phenomenon has emerged near Amazon.com Inc. delivery stations and Whole Foods stores in the Chicago suburbs: smartphones dangling from trees. Contract delivery drivers are putting them there to get a jump on rivals seeking orders, according to people familiar with the matter.

Someone places several devices in a tree located close to the station where deliveries originate. Drivers in on the plot then sync their own phones with the ones in the tree and wait nearby for an order pickup. The reason for the odd placement, according to experts and people with direct knowledge of Amazon’s operations, is to take advantage of the handsets’ proximity to the station, combined with software that constantly monitors Amazon’s dispatch network, to get a split-second jump on competing drivers.

That drivers resort to such extreme methods is emblematic of the ferocious competition for work in a pandemic-ravaged U.S. economy suffering from double-digit unemployment. Much the way milliseconds can mean millions to hedge funds using robotraders, a smartphone perched in a tree can be the key to getting a $15 delivery route before someone else.

... An Uber-like app called Amazon Flex lets drivers make deliveries in their own cars. For many with other jobs, it’s a way to earn extra money in their spare time. But with joblessness rising and unemployment payments shrinking, competition for such work has stiffened, and more people rely on it as their primary income source. Adding to the pressure, fewer people are using ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, so more drivers have to deliver online shopping orders to make money. As a result, some Whole Foods locations have come to resemble parking lots at Home Depot Inc., where day laborers have long congregated to pick up home repair gigs.

More: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amazon-drivers-hanging-smartphones-trees-125150039.html

Bloomberg reported similar use of apps by Instacart shoppers earlier this month.

What’s happening at Whole Foods in the Chicago ... When drivers see an Instant Offer, they have only a few minutes to accept the delivery or lose it to someone else. ... a phone in a tree outside Whole Foods’ door would get the delivery offer even before drivers sitting in their cars just a block away ((Whole Foods and Amazon Flex send their route offers to the nearest phones first)) . ... The phones in trees seem to serve as master devices that dispatch routes to multiple nearby drivers in on the plot

One reason Flex contractors do this is to get around the requirements for being a driver, such as having a valid license or being authorized to work in the U.S., ... explained in the article: someone meeting the work requirements subhires the one who doesn't meet requirements to actually do the driving at a lesser rate, keeping the difference.

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About progree

Thanks for all the good wishes. A wellness check was done several days ago My next door neighbor of 43 years is looking out for me

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