Another sign of a roaring 2020’s economy just came out, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today. The February employment report added 355,000 jobs just to payrolls in leisure and hospitality — restaurants, hotels, casinos, theaters—all in the service sector.
These industries had lost 500,000 jobs during the pandemic. A total of 379,000 jobs were created with manufacturing, wholesale trade and retail sales adding to the total.
“The rebound in job creation in February is likely the start of a major new cycle of hiring. Warmer weather, falling coronavirus cases, rising vaccinations and another massive increase in federal stimulus are likely to act as jet fuel for the economy in the spring and summer,” says MarketWatch’s Jeffry Bartash.
A rebound in the service sector is what economists have been waiting for. It means more consumer spending on travel, dining out, and visits to public venues like sports and museums.
There is one caveat, however. Dr. Fauci and other health experts are warning that the pandemic fight isn’t over. There could be an infection surge in the spring with new variants of the virus beginning to appear for which the current vaccines are not as effective.
CDC head, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, has repeatedly warned that declining case numbers have stalled at a high level, and urged Americans to stick with the recommended safeguards — frequent hand washing, social distancing and wearing a face mask in public — until it’s their turn to be vaccinated.
"Things are tenuous," Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing. "Now is not the time to relax restrictions." The U.S. is still averaging about 70,000 cases a day and the seven-day average is higher today than it was earlier in the week, she said. "This recent shift in the pandemic must be taken seriously," she said. If the infection rate remains at such a high level, the virus, and new variants of the virus, will continue to spread, she said. "We may be done with the virus, but the virus is not done with us,"
This happened with the Spanish flu pandemic of 100 years ago, which prolonged the original ‘roaring 20’s’ recovery for another year. It is literally a race to vaccinate as many people as possible to limit the spread of these new variants.
Harlan Green © 2021
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