How fast is the economic recovery?

In the past year, the economy has been on a long and exhausting road towards the post-pandemic “normality”. And it’s not over yet.

This page — we plan to update every month — will tell us how far we need to go before the economy returns to the state it was in before the pandemic shut down most Americans.

Of course, we have made significant progress: in reaching Highest unemployment rate Since the Great Depression in April, the country’s unemployment rate has steadily declined.

But as of this month, the unemployment rate is still 2.4 A few percentage points higher than before the pandemic.

Changes in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate since January 2020

Unemployment rate is June used to be 5.9 Percentage, according to the latest employment report, up From 5.8 percentage may.

Crucially, the recovery does not affect all workers equally. Just as the black and Hispanic communities have been struggling Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the infection rate and mortality rate have been high, The colored community continues to Bear the brunt High unemployment And economic insecurity, Even if the total drops.

Persistent gap

Changes in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate by race from January 2020

The employment gap between black and white Americans continues to exist. Before the epidemic, Things are not very good.Black unemployed Circling often At the level Much higher than white Americans. The pandemic has exacerbated this stubborn inequality, and now we are in an economic crisis of extreme inequality. Low-wage workers — who are most likely black and Hispanic — are hit hardest by the pandemic because they usually work in industries such as retail and hotels, and their jobs cannot be done at home.These workplaces pose a major public health risk during the pandemic, and Has been completely or partially closed With the ebb and flow of infections.

Therefore, compared with industries such as leisure and hotels, we are closer to economic normal in industries such as construction, professional and business services.

The road to zero has a long way to go

Changes in seasonally adjusted non-agricultural employment increase or decrease in the six major private sectors since January 2020

The non-agricultural employment data is based on the initial release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and subsequent revisions have not been considered.

Some industries have been able to adjust (more or less) The reality of the pandemic, but others, such as leisure and hospitality, education and health services, put their workers in a painful win-win situation. They face unstable employment, temporary vacations or permanent layoffs are always on the horizon, coupled with the enviable prospect of going to work every day and the risk of infection being unresolved.

It’s important to remember these differences, because even if employment appears to be close to pre-pandemic normals, many people are not part of the economic rebound—and these workers are still disproportionately people of color. young with Low wages.

Check back next month for the latest news on how close or how far we are from the unemployment levels we saw before the pandemic.

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