ORLANDO, Fla. — The June jobs report showed workers returning to work as payrolls grew by 4.8 million for the month and unemployment fell to 11.1% nationwide, down from 14.7% in April.
“The numbers that we saw (in April) weren’t as bad as people thought they were because they reflected people being put on temporary furlough,” said Jonathan Bydlak, the director of fiscal and budget policy for the R-Street Institute. “You are seeing two phenomena happen at the same time. One is that workers who were furloughed early on are coming back to work in certain areas of the country, like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, areas that were hit really hard by the coronavirus early on.”
This is the second straight month of job gains across the country; however, the nation still has 15 million fewer jobs now than in February and economists caution that not all the jobs that were lost will return.
“You also have the phenomenon of permanent job losses and those numbers have continued to go up, and so you are sort of masking in a sense the permanent picture,” Bydlak said.
In Central Florida, the job losses continue to outpace the nation as a whole. In May, the state reported a non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 14.3%, with leisure and hospitality accounting for more than half the job losses in the state. Even still, on Thursday numbers of new unemployment claims fell across the state to 84,608 from 95,683 the prior week.
“There’s no mystery to this recession and what caused it and likewise there is no mystery to the recovery, it’s all a function of public health measures and how quickly these can be lifted and the economy can start moving towards something resembling the pre-pandemic,” said University of Central Florida economist Dr. Sean Snaith.
While Snaith is encouraged by the June jobs report, he cautions that the path back to the pre-COVID-19 economy will not be easy and will reflect the lifting of public health measures as well as consumers returning to their normal habits.
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