August 11, 2020
Last week when the first measure of economic growth came out for the second quarter, we acknowledged that this was a picture of how bad things became during the depths of the shutdown. At the end of the last week we witnessed a reading which gives us information regarding how long these times will last. We are talking about the July employment data. And to understand the context of this number we have to go back to the depths of the first part of the year.
In March, as the economy was shutting down, we lost 1.37 million jobs. In April we lost an astounding 20.78 million jobs. In May, the rebound began with a gain of 2.69 million jobs and in June we tacked on another 4.8 million jobs. Thus, the trend is up — and July reflects not only another rebound month, but also a month in which virus cases were increasing again.
The gain of 1.8 million jobs in July was seen as encouraging, as was the drop of the unemployment rate to 10.2%. From here we still have to gain 12 million jobs just to recover the jobs we have lost. In total, we are 42% of the way there. And from there, the growth of the labor force will mean that there will be additional jobs we will have to create to bring us back close to full employment. How long will that take? That will tell us how long the bad news will be with us. Historically low rates are still helping, especially in the real estate sector. But we still have a long way to go.
Source: Origination Pro