As we begin to emerge from our pandemic lifestyles, many of us are looking ahead to the economic recovery that is surely coming, wondering if it will, indeed, bring us some lengthy period of American prosperity.
The last time our nation was plunged into this sort of peril was over a century ago after a two-year tussle with the Spanish Flu epidemic was a major catalyst of the period of financial growth and decadent spending known as “the roaring twenties”. Now, in 2021, there is a feeling that something similar could be on the horizon, particularly as a great many of us have been sitting at home, not spending money in industries shut down by the pandemic, and are chomping at the bit to get back to it.
The latest figures in the unemployment market seem to indicate that we may just be on our way.
The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless aid last week fell to its lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in 2020, a sign layoffs are easing as the economy recovers.
Some 547,000 people applied for unemployment benefits in the week ended April 17, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s 39,000 fewer than the previous week and the lowest weekly number since March 14, 2020. About 133,000 others applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal program for self-employed and gig workers.
The latest jobless claims figure is far below the roughly 1 million weekly applications the nation saw in January. But it remains more than twice its pre-pandemic level of about 250,000, showing how much further the recovery has to go.
Roaring twenties, here we come?