Some Economic Data

Our recovery from the Wuhan Virus situation is moving apace, both medically and economically. Here are some of the economic data. The breakdown by Progressive-Democrat- vs Republican-run States also is interesting. The Executive Summary is this:

…the labor market for lower-income workers is reviving, though it has become increasingly bifurcated between states that reopened sooner and those that maintained longer lockdowns.

Now those data:

  • continuing jobless claims for the week of October 10 declined by nearly one million to 8.37 million, and by 3.6 million in the last three weeks
  • in August the layoff rate hit the lowest on record
  • [i]n July and August, layoffs were fewer than during the same months last year
  • more new restaurants opened in September than in 2018, 2017 and 2016

That last obviously is from the artificially low level driven by the government’s forced closures from the lockdowns, but it still represents significant recovery.

  • [t]hird-quarter median weekly earnings increased 8.2% year-over-year and 9.2% for the bottom 25% of workers
  • [m]edian weekly earnings rose…11.8% for Hispanics and 9.3% for blacks

That’s a significant narrowing of the income (and so wealth) gap that the Left worries so much about.

  • September consumer spending was up 5.4% year-over-year

The over-year period is before the virus situation. That puts the spending rate back on its original track.

  • Atlanta Federal Reserve estimates the economy grew 35.3% in the third quarter

That’s ahead of the official GDP estimate due out on 29 Oct, but it’s a solid presage.

Now some between-State data. September unemployment rates in States that locked down more tightly and stayed locked down longer:

  • 6% in Nevada, 11% in California, 10.5% in Rhode Island, 10.2% in Illinois, 9.7% in New York

Rates for States that reopened sooner from looser restrictions:

  • 7% in Arizona, 6.4% in Georgia, 5.4% in Wisconsin, 5% in Utah

Labor force participation data for a couple of tightly restricted States:

  • 363,000 workers dropped out of New York’s labor force
  • 229,000 workers left New Jersey’s labor force

On the other hand,

  • Arizona’s labor force grew by 151,000
  • Wisconsin’s labor force grew by 82,000

Looks like recovery to me, albeit still fragile.

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