13 Million Americans Exhaust Unemployment by 12/09 http://seekingalpha.com/article/153555-five-reasons-the-market-could-crash-this-fall A lot of the bull-tards in the media have been going wild that unemployment claims are falling. It strikes me as surprising that this would be true given the fact that virtually every company that posted the alleged âawesomeâ earnings in 2Q09 did so by laying off thousands of employees: * Yahoo! (YHOO) will cut 675 jobs. * Verizon (VZ) just laid off 9,000 employees. * Motorola (MOT) plans to lay off 7,000 folks this year. * Shell (RDS.A) has laid off 150 management positions (20% of management). * Microsoft (MSFT) plans to lay off 5,000 people this year. So unemployment claims are falling, that means people are finding jobs right? Wrong. It means that people are exhausting their unemployment benefits. When you consider that there are 30 million people on food stamps in the US (out of the 200 million that are of working age: 15-64) itâs clear REAL unemployment must be closer to 16%. And theyâre slowly running out of their government lifelines. The three million people who lost their jobs in the second half of 2008 will exhaust their benefits by October 2009. When you add in dependents, this means that around 10 million folks will have no income and virtually no savings come Halloween. Throw in the other four million who lost their jobs in the first half of 2009 and youâve got 13 million people (counting families) who will be essentially destitute by year-end. How does this affect the stock market? The US consumer is 70% of our GDP. People without jobs donât spend money. People who are having to work part-time instead of full-time (another nine million) spend less money than full time employees. And people who are forced to work shorter work weeks (current average is 33, an ALL TIME LOW), have less money to spend. Wall Street makes a big deal about earnings (earnings estimates, earnings forecast, etc), but when it comes to economic growth, sales are the more critical metric. Companies can increase profits by reducing costs temporarily, but unless actual top lines increase, there is NO growth to be seen. No revenue growth means no hiring, which means no uptick in employment, which means greater housing and credit card defaults, greater Federal welfare (unemployment, food stamps, etc), etc. So how will corporate profits perform as more and more consumers become part-time, unemployed, or destitute? Well, so far profits have been awful. And thatâs BEFORE we start seeing millions of Americans losing their unemployment benefits. With the S&P rallying on these already crap resultsâ¦ what do you think will happen when reality sets in during 3Q09?