By Mary Salmonsen | Builder
In the last month, as the pace of vaccinations has ramped up, the market has moved toward a “goldilocks economy,” Zonda chief economist Ali Wolf says in this month’s COVID-19 Update webinar. The bottom half of the K in the “K-shaped” recovery is starting to see some growth; the economy added 916,000 jobs in March, almost double the amount added in February, led by roughly 280,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector. The construction sector added 110,000 of these jobs, almost 37,000 of which were in residential construction.
“We’re expecting a lot of economic growth in the next handful of months,” Wolf says. “We think the April and May jobs reports may come out to the tune of millions more jobs being added.”
Despite this growth, and the promise of more to come, lingering economic pain persists. The number of unemployed persons remains 8.5 million higher than it was before the pandemic, and 43% percent of those unemployed have been so for 27 weeks or longer. Leisure and hospitality is still down by 3.1 million positions, and 200,000 more businesses closed than usual last year.