Whether we personally were infected by COVID-19 or not in the past year, we all suffered the pains of a sick economy as members of the American family. Now that the economy is on the verge of reopening, we can anticipate the release of pent-up demand for labor along with increased spending in specific sectors of our economy. Government disaster relief that kept the unemployed afloat last year will be with us for most of this year, too. However, Biden’s proposed fiscal stimulus package of around $3 trillion for infrastructure, education and workforce development should be replacing disaster relief.
Part of Biden’s proposed stimulus is focused on getting everyone who lost jobs due to COVID back to work and the economy on better footing. By the end of September 2022, I anticipate seeing the total jobs data look a lot like February 2020 before COVID-19. Hopefully, we will see these near-total employment numbers even sooner, but we still have a few roadblocks that need to be conquered.
Let’s say we do get back to February 2020’s employment levels: what will that do to inflation? It’s been a while since we had to think about inflation, and it’s a sign of the times that we are adding this back to our topics of conversation, along with higher mortgage rates. This means America is back, and the conversation is now shifting to growth rather than a deflationary crisis. So let’s take a peek at what the future holds.