CUNA Strategic Planning Virtual Roundtable
Jordan van Rijn, CUNA senior economist

Expect a ‘Swoosh-shaped’ recovery

Economists say it will take three years to gain back jobs lost during the pandemic.

October 1, 2020

According to a Wall Street Journal Economic Forecasting Survey, 68.5% of economists believe the economic recovery will be a “Nike Swoosh” shape featuring a sharp initial drop and a gradual recovery.

About 20 million jobs were lost during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. When half of those jobs were recovered quickly, many economists  believed  a  recovery would occur within one year.

Job Market Declines and Recoveries

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But that  looks unlikely as more temporary job losses are becoming permanent. It now appears it will  take about three years to fully recover those jobs, says CUNA Senior Economist Jordan van Rijn, who gave an economic update during the CUNA Strategic Planning Virtual Roundtable.

“That’s good and bad,” van Rijn says. “The bad news is that we’re going to be in this for a while with elevated unemployment rates. The good news is that if this hold true, it would be a faster recovery than the 2001 and 2007 recessions.”

According to data going back to the 1960s, on average it takes  one-and-a-half to  two years to recover jobs lost during a recession. However, it took nearly four years to recover jobs lost during the 2001 recession and almost six years to recover all jobs lost during the 2007 recession.

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