After more than a year of business failures, layoffs, and shutdowns, the pundits in the financial media and the Department of Labor have spent the summer touting an “exploding” economy, feeling the charge provided by the release of pent-up demand.
We’ve been told that inflation is “transitory,” whatever that means, as suppliers are preparing to reopen supply chains to get goods flowing back into stores. According to those experts, massive government stimulus and trillions in quantitative easing will “jumpstart” us out of the recession.
Despite all that, last week’s jobs report laid a grim overcast on the promises of economic recovery. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed a dismal 235,000 jobs were created in August. That is in comparison to the predicted number of 750,000.
When they haven’t been scratching their heads, the experts have blamed the COVID-19 delta variant and its effect on consumer confidence for the terrible report.
The Wall Street Journal explained that economists believe that service industry jobs are lagging because of the uncertainty involved in personal contact in commerce. Additionally, the rationale is that the unemployed are slower to return to work because of fear of the virus.
Numbers reported by an online reservations site indicate that restaurant dining is down 9 percent week-over-week compared to August 2019. The experts also point to continued lower demand as a result of delta variant concerns.
Even though Joe Biden has plainly said that there won’t be any national lockdowns, many producers are concerned about the flood of regulations and rules that have resulted and are likely to continue because of the pandemic.
According to Homebase, a scheduling software company that serves mainly tiny business clients, the total number of employees logging hours fell 4 percent in August from the July total. The hospitality industry saw employment fall 20 percent while active employees working a schedule dropped 35 percent since July.
The next hope for the experts is that many parents will return to work when schools reopen. After that, the prospects for some sudden burst of consumer confidence lacking so far in 2021 grow even dimmer.