- Epic Economist
Evidence is stacking up against the optimistic economic predictions of a quick return to normal in the form of a V-shaped recovery. In reality, the pandemic and following economic collapse are only beginning to take their toll. For one, Americans continue to suffer job losses. In fact, over 1 million US citizens have filed unemployment claims each week now for a total of 13 weeks in a row. Furthermore, economic activity is sluggish even as states across the country begin to open restaurants, stores, and other business in stages. In a perfect world, the end of lockdowns and the return to somewhat normal life was supposed to signal a bounceback for the economy to levels seen in 2019. However, the numbers are not rebounding as expected. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones predicted that the US would see 1.3 million new unemployment claims last week, but the real number turned out to be higher by 200,000 Americans, around 1.5 million. Keep in mind that, before this current crisis, the single worst week for unemployment claims saw 695,000 new filings back in September of 1982, a staggering number but nothing compared to the record highs now hitting the US. Even experts are baffled as to why claims are so persistently high. According to Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, this could be because the aftermath of the initial economic shock caused by the pandemic is still making its way through some businesses, or perhaps businesses that believed they would survive the crash are now finally giving way. All in all, it is clear that recovery will be much slower than originally anticipated.