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14 Years to Get There

As I’ve said before, predictions of a strong economic rebound are far too optimistic.

In May we received a jobs report showing a whopping 2.5 million new jobs created and an unemployment rate that dipped to 13.3 percent. This set off a wave of optimism pointing towards growth in the second half of 2020.

But as mentioned last month, the jobs report really wasn’t that great. It didn’t include furloughed workers or those whose hours were cut with the intention of a quick return to work.

Unfortunately, they probably won’t be going back soon…maybe not ever.

According to Bloomberg, 30 percent of the jobs lost from February to May could be gone for good, due to a “reallocation shock.” It’s also estimated 37 percent of the jobs in the hospitality and leisure industry could be lost. It’s worse in retail – 56 percent of jobs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 52.8 percent of Americans have a job. Last month it was 51.8 percent. Those are the lowest two readings since tracking began in 1948.

Here’s another one – roughly half of the more than 260 million Americans aged 16 and older have jobs. To return to the historical peak of 64.7 percent, which we had in 2000, we’d need to create 30 million jobs.

So, if we added jobs at the 2019 rate, it would take 14 years to get there.

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