August 11, 2020—Over the past few months, the labor market has started the process of recovery after a sharp downward lurch in the aftermath of pandemic-induced shutdowns. The July employment report showed a third month of job gains, but at a slower pace relative to May and June, and was the first of a number of speed bumps we expect in the months ahead. We look for the recovery to continue, but not necessarily in a straight line.
June 19, 2020—It’s official. The longest economic expansion in U.S. history back to 1854 ended in February 2020, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).[i] The coronavirus pandemic ended an expansion that chugged along for ten years and eight months, as business closures and social-distancing measures to contain the outbreak brought economic output to a screeching halt in the span of just two months.
May 1, 2020—The damage to the U.S. economy resulting from the outbreak and social-distancing restrictions has started being revealed over the past few weeks. Businesses have temporarily shuttered, which has forced a drastic hit to consumer spending. The damage to labor markets was immediately seen in weekly unemployment claims figures. Now we have monthly and quarterly data trickling in confirming the dire forecasts.The most timely and striking indicator has come from the labor market.