Are We In for a Strong Economic Recovery?
(Morganton) The News Herald (Commentary)
June 22, 2020
May’s employment report, which showed falling unemployment rates and the growth of 2.5 million new jobs nationally, caught most economists by surprise. NC State’s Mike Walden was among them. “Instead of millions – some economists thought as many as 8 million – of additional jobs being cut in May and the jobless rate soaring to 20% or above, the exact opposite happened,” Walden writes. North Carolina showed a similar trend, with an unchanged monthly rate coming amid 120,000 net new jobs. He credits pent-up consumer demand after weeks of shutdowns, as well as generous unemployment benefits and a round of federal stimulus checks. The absence of any precedent in living memory makes reliably forecasting the economic recovery close to impossible. “The problem for economists is we don’t have a previous playbook to follow,” Walden says. “We’ve never had a recession that was mandated by the government in order to control a pandemic.”
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