National Economic Outlook
By Ingo Winzer
The latest job figures suggest very strongly that a real economic recovery won’t take place this year. The recovery of jobs we’ve seen since last April has hit a limit because most people won’t resume normal economic activity until the pandemic is over, so they’re not going to restaurants, stores, gyms or their doctor, even when governments allow them to do so.
And the pandemic won’t be over soon because we’re unable to follow public health measures – even as people are getting vaccinated (or maybe because of that).
The consequence is that more people will suffer financially, and not just the 10 million who lost their job but also their employers, landlords, bankers and any place they used to spend money. The longer the pandemic lasts the more likely it becomes that the homeowner market will be affected. So far the pandemic has mainly hurt renters but as their financial resources are impaired, fewer people will want to buy a home.
Overall, jobs in January were down 6.1 percent from last year. Running at that level for the last four months, this seems to be the limit of the job recovery until the pandemic situation improves.
Jobs were down 4.3 percent in manufacturing, 2.1 percent in retail, 0.6 percent in finance, 3.5 percent in business services, 3.1 percent in healthcare, 19 percent at restaurants and 5.5 percent in government. In healthcare and government the job situation has become worse in recent months, not better.