WASHINGTON—Despite ongoing economic woes and a jobless rate that has been approaching 10 percent, U.S. unemployment projections drastically improved Monday after the consumption of five beers.
"It's going up," leading economist David Singleton said confidently, indicating the predicted growth in jobs with an upward wave of a Bud Light bottle. "All the way up. By the end of the month. No problem."
Singleton said the economy would begin its rebound once employers realized that there were many currently unemployed skilled laborers across the country who would "bust their asses" in a number of growing fields.
"Whether it's manufacturing, finance, hospitality, or manufacturing, these dudes trying to reenter the workforce right now have awesome skill sets and, most of all, they really deserve it," he said. "They're great, great guys. All of them."
According to analysts, both long- and short-term forecasts showed signs of recovery between the third and fourth beer, but the fifth alcoholic beverage was the point at which the employment rate began to close in on 100 percent.
Even in Michigan, home to the nation's highest unemployment numbers, fairly buzzed sources described a bright future for thousands of laid-off automotive workers and their families. State labor director Stanley Pruss echoed the sentiment, saying that he fully expected out-of-work Michigan residents to be back on their feet in no time.
"Something will come along for everyone. Something even better, you'll see," Pruss told reporters at a Lansing bar with a generous happy-hour special. "Our state, all this unemployment, you know...pfft. It's bullshit. Bullshit. If we just work together, we can make it better. For everyone! But look, why are we even talking about this? Life is short, man. Just enjoy the ride!"
Reports from those well on their way toward putting away a whole six pack suggested that unemployed Americans could look forward to increased job security and much higher salaries. In addition, many half-in-the-bag analysts said they foresee greater career satisfaction and massive quality-of-life improvements following the inevitable arrival of new employment opportunities.
"Why should those who've lost work have to live paycheck to paycheck, doing some miserable wage-slave job a goddamn monkey could do?" said Donald Ellington, a completely hammered senior adviser at JPMorgan Chase. "All these layoffs, they're totally a blessing in disguise. Now these people can do the thing they've always wanted to do. Like becoming a sportswriter. Or a musician. Or a pilot, even!"
"I'm telling you, this is their time," Ellington added. "This is their fucking time."
To illustrate his point, Ellington then sang most of the first verse of the Tina Turner song "We Don't Need Another Hero" for reporters.
Joblessness was not the only domestic problem that began to appear eminently solvable after the rapid downing of five beers. Also substantially improved were projections for the housing crisis, the affordability of health care, getting hot wings later, and being able to drive home just fine.
Though most on their fifth beer showed unbridled optimism—and in some cases outright cockiness—in terms of the employment landscape, those who greatly exceeded that number said they saw the current job market as hopelessly bleak. Contrary to the rosy prospects he had described earlier in the evening, economist David Singleton, after imbibing nine beers and an unknown quantity of Wild Turkey, lamented that there would have to be a comprehensive shift in the nation's entire economic structure before any lasting improvement could be realized.†
"There is no fucking way the Cavs are gonna go all the way next…yeah, that's Rick's," said Singleton, lowering his head to the table in front of him. "No, goddamn it, I told you, it's Rick's! Go ask him about it."
"Go Cavs!" Singleton added.