The pandemic has been going on for longer than most Americans had predicted, with potentially significant economic implications. Traditional retail stores will possibly never recover their pre-pandemic revenue or job rates as customers gradually shift to shopping online. Online healthcare is likely to reduce the office work for certain physicians. So videoconferencing online will replace a portion of business travel. These changes alone could destroy millions of jobs.
Michelle Holder, a labor economist at John Jay College, said that this year, many retail workers and others whose jobs are gone for good will find employment, as the viral outbreak would hold off the hiring until a vaccine is widely available.
When the coronavirus begins to affect a large portion of the economy, it becomes clear that millions of Americans face the possibility of permanent work loss that will cause them to pursue jobs in new sectors or in new occupations. If so, this would result in a slower recovery on the job market than if restaurants, hotels, bars, and retail shops were able to completely reopen and recall all of their laid-off workers. This is something that none intend to happen.
On Friday, analysts expect the government to announce that, according to data provider FactSet, employers added 1.6 million workers in July, and the unemployment rate decreased from 11.1 percent to a still-high 10.5 percent. A million or more jobs will be an unheard-of increase at any other time. But the expected boost from July will fall just short of the 4.8 million rise from June and would signal that hiring has slowed sharply. This would also mean that only 40 percent of the jobs that fell to the coronavirus were recovered in the economy.