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.
March 25, 2020—The flurry of recent news suggests a grim picture for employment in the near term as mitigation measures are put in place to control the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and temporary business closures. These have led to a significant number of workers furloughed or laid off as business revenues have dropped drastically for a number of industries, particularly in the service sector.