Back to Normal?

The U.S. economy has improved significantly since April 2020, the peak of the pandemic-induced recession. The national unemployment rate stood at 6.0 percent in March of this year, well below the peak of 14.8 percent in April 2020. Companies were effective in implementing work-from-home technology, keeping unemployment rates for office-based service sectors relatively low. For those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, unemployment rates were only 3.7 percent as of March 2021.

In 2020, third-quarter GDP growth made up much of the second-quarter losses, followed by 4 percent annualized economic growth in the fourth quarter. Retail sales also rebounded quickly, returning to pre-pandemic levels by June and continuing to increase through the beginning of 2021.

However, the U.S. economy is still far from “normal.” Of the 22 million people who lost jobs in March and April 2020, only 57.8 percent had regained employment…

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