“The reality is, that globally, we are trapped by COVID-19. It's a global problem. It's a regional problem,” said
Forsyth told attendees at the
“The second thing that would really be very helpful at this point is we really, probably, need a second stimulus and we need
Forsyth predicts a zero to 2% increase in regional employment growth in 2021 if a vaccine or a second federal stimulus package isn't approved.
But, one or the other becomes available, the region is likely to see 2-3% employment growth. Those percentages would increase if both a vaccine and a new stimulus package get done.
“So, we're a long ways from recovering,” Forsyth said. “If we were to continue at the pace of the August-September growth rate, we wouldn't recover our employment level regionally until about 2024.
“Again, in absence of the vaccine, we still need that stimulus to help push us forward, because the recovery is starting to slow.”
Nationally, there was a staggering loss of nearly 22 million jobs by April. In response to that decline, the
In August, the Fed adopted a policy shift to allow for periods of higher inflation above 2%, meaning interest rates could remain at record lows until 2023, Mitchell said.
He noted that
Employment earnings declined, but transfer payments — in the form of unemployment and stimulus checks — soared.
Mitchell said that increase in personal income, in part, accelerated a rise in online shopping during COVID-19.
“So, really, what that means is I think the CARES Act probably worked pretty well in supporting consumption, preventing a debt crisis and also giving people a cushion going forward,” Forsyth said.
“I think, to some extent, this indicates those programs were actually pretty successful.”
Forsyth said small firms nationwide took the biggest hit in employment losses during the stay-home order in March and could likely be heavily impacted as a result of the state's new restrictions that went into effect this week.
The region could see an uneven recovery based on worker pay and a rise in underemployed, or those workers who take part-time jobs instead of full-time employment, he said.
Because private firms make up 70% of the region's employment, their recovery is vital to ensuring the area has a robust recovery, Forsyth said.
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