Government expected to report hiring slowdown
WASHINGTON — Evidence of the damage the resurgent viral outbreak has caused the U.S. economy could come Friday when the government is expected to report the pace of hiring has slowed after a brief rebound in the spring.
As the pandemic transforms a vast swath of the economy, it’s becoming evident that millions of Americans face the prospect of a permanent job loss that will force some to seek work with new industries or in new occupations. If so, that would lead to a slower recovery.
On Friday, economists expect the government to report that employers added 1.6 million jobs in July, according to data provider FactSet, and that the unemployment rate declined from 11.1% to a still-high 10.5%. July’s expected gain would fall way short of June’s 4.8 million increase and would signal that hiring has sharply slowed. It would also mean that the economy has regained barely 40% of the jobs that fell to the coronavirus.
The pandemic will likely have profound consequences for the economy. Retail stores will probably never regain their pre-pandemic levels of sales or employment as consumers turn to internet purchases. Online health care will likely eliminate some doctors’ office jobs. And videoconferencing will replace some portion of business travel. Those changes alone could destroy millions of jobs.
Michelle Holder, a labor economist at John Jay College, said it’s unlikely that many workers will find work until a vaccine is widely available.
“It’s definitely going to be a drag on the economy,” she said. GOP senators support more money for airlines
Airline stocks rose Wednesday as a group of 16 Republican senators, nine of whom are up for reelection, has endorsed giving more money to airlines to avoid layoffs right before the November election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky made no provision for airline workers in his $1 trillion proposal for additional virus relief.