During February, the U.S. business cycle hit a peak. But then, it has been downhill ever since. To see where, let’s take a look.
6 Facts About the Pandemic Economy
1. The plunge in unemployment was much more severe than during past recessions.
After the high point in the business cycle, shown on the left side of our graph, the increase in joblessness was far more precipitous than during previous slowdowns:
2. Represented by the GDP, the cut back in production was as sharp as for jobs.
And again, compared to other recessions, the 2020 dip has been dismal:
3. But a closer look at the upswing in retail sales reveals that all was not bad.
4. The retail rebound was for goods much more than for services.
We are buying things like dishwashers, cars, and patio furniture. You see the trend. We are upgrading our homes:
5. In what economists have called a “K” recovery (some of us up and some down), a massive number of rental households could be evicted.
The numbers are largest in California and Texas, with Florida and New York, not far behind:
6. Predictably, our uncertainty is considerable.
Our uncertainty hit a peak during last May, just over a month after many lockdowns had begun. Then, on November 11, it was not quite down to where it had hovered when all seemed normal:
Our Bottom Line: Working Women
Behind all of our statistics are the women who are bearing the biggest burden. During past recessions male dominated industries like manufacturing and construction were hardest hit. But this time is different.
Healthcare and hospitality, retail establishments and restaurants–the service industries with the greatest concentrations of women–have suffered the most during the pandemic slowdown. Then, further compounding the impact, telecommuting from a service-related job is less feasible. And beyond that, the vast number of single parents are women, making telecommuting even more daunting as our schools morphed to remote:
So, when we see unemployment up, the GDP down, and evictions accelerating, we can think of the women who are especially enduring a tough time.
My sources and more: Listening to The Daily’s “Pandemic Economy in 7 Facts” gave me the idea for today’s post. From there, with 10 facts, Brookings had more as did the BLS Monthly Labor Review. Finally, this paper on gender inequality and The Washington Post came in handy.
Our featured image is from Pixabay.