Jason Furman and Wilson Powell III (for the Petersen Institute) and Michael Strain (for Bloomberg Opinion) have written informative analyses of the new unemployment report. There are some differences of emphases, but also a rough convergence.
Here’s Strain: “Friday’s numbers add to the case that the demand side of the labor market is in much better shape than the supply side. The excessively generous unemployment benefits that are in place until September will keep workers on the sidelines, restricting employment gains and keeping wages artificially high. The longer schools and day-care centers are closed, the harder it will be for women with children to go back to work.” Furman and Powell make the same points, while also noting that some people may be staying away from work because of continuing concerns about the virus.
Strain also calculates that we are 10.8 million jobs below where the pre-pandemic trend would have taken us. Furman and Powell say we’re 10 million short.
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