It’s easy to take a quick glance at the current state of the economy and unemployment rates and feel like we’re in a pretty desperate place as a country. But the truth is that some promising information from the Council of Economic Advisers and other outlets has been released in the last couple of weeks that hasn’t been covered in the press nearly as much as it should.
So if recently you’ve been feeling pessimistic about the economy and where our country is headed, take a look at these 5 signs that the economy is rebounding and unemployment is dropping after the COVID-19 nationwide closures.
5 Signs the Economy is Rebounding & Unemployment is Dropping
- The Economy is Rebounding Faster than Expected – One of the most impressive gains we’ve seen recently is the number of jobs added to the economy over the last month. Most economists were predicting that the U.S. would lose 7.5 million jobs in May, but instead, 2.5 million jobs were added, defying all expectations. This brought the national unemployment rate down from 14.7% to 13.3%, proving that our economy is more resilient than experts assumed only a month ago.
- Retail Sales Increase from April to May – Retail sales also increased by a record 17.7% from April to May of this year. Although retail sales across the board are down by 6.1% from where they were last year, this bounceback is a significant development after unemployment was on the rise across the nation last month. Two of the most remarkable gains were seen in furniture stores that produced a 90% monthly gain and clothiers whose sales rose by a staggering 188%.
- Stocks Rally Across the World – With the announcement that most of the country would reopen in the coming weeks and the remarkable gains in the retail sector, stocks rallied across the world this week. The S&P had its third straight gain on Tuesday, rising 1.9% and coming within 8% of its record gain in February. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones climbed by 2% while the NASDAQ rose 1.7%, showing significant growth across many sectors and calming worried investors all over the world.
- Signs that Laid-off Workers Will Return to their Jobs – 15.3 million people were on temporary lay-off in May, along with about 4.9 million people who also had temporarily lost their jobs but were counted as “not at work for other reasons” by their state officials. This means that 78.2% of unemployed persons in May were on temporary lay-off, providing a reason to believe that these temporarily laid-off workers could return to their previous jobs as states continue to reopen and economic activity climbs.
- Job Gains Are Predicted to Grow in June – Another overlooked statistic is the amount that average weekly hours have grown over the last month. For all private-sector employees, average weekly hours increased by 0.5 to 34.7 hours, which is the highest level since the series began in 2006. For production and non-supervisory employees, average weekly hours increased by 0.6 to 34.1 hours, which is the highest level in 19 years. This could be a sign that unemployment is on the wane and that employers need to hire more workers to meet their demands.