The U.S. has regained about 8 million of the more than 20 million jobs that it shed during the pandemic, but more than 1.3 million people filed for unemployment during the second week of July.
However, the Commerce Department reported this week that retail sails in June were up 7.5 percent, surpassing expectations of around a 5 percent increase in May. In addition, restaurants and bars, an industry that has been devastated by the pandemic, saw a 20 percent increase in sales in June as well as states began to loosen coronavirus restrictions.
The economist also acknowledged that the big cities such as New York that have been hit especially hard by the virus could have a harder time rebounding from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
“These big cities in America, including New York and Chicago in Los Angeles and Seattle and San Francisco, have been hit with a double whammy. They’ve been hit with a lot of cases of coronavirus, which has scared people from moving back into the cities,” Moore said.
Moore went on to predict that more people would be deterred from city living due to the Black Lives Matter protests that were sparked after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody in late May.
“But then, of course, you’ve had the problem with rioting and protests and arson … that have made Americans feel that cities are not safe. You saw what happened there in New York City where they cut $1 billion from the police budget. That’s not a very smart thing to do if you want to keep people safe and secure. I think it’s going to be tough for cities going forward.”
While many protests in the beginning of June did escalate to violence, the large majority thereafter have been peaceful. President Trump has denounced many of the demonstrations as well, calling some of the protestors looters and anarchists.
The progress of the U.S. economy remains uncertain after many states in the South and West have seen a surge in coronavirus cases. Many state and local governments have issued roll backs of their reopenings, with some even shuttering businesses and banning gatherings in closed public spaces.