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Knowledge@Wharton: The U.S. Economy Is Doing Just Fine — For Now

From Knowledge@Wharton: Don’t worry about the U.S. economy. Wharton management professor Iwan Barankay has looked at the data, crunched the numbers, and read the latest research from fellow economists, and he says everything is just fine. “This is the longest continuous expansion of the economy since the second World War, and we’re not used to that,” he told Wharton Business Daily on SiriusXM. “This is completely new territory, so of course you look for signs that this party can’t go on forever. But as for the data today, we see that after the COVID intermission, so to speak, we are back to the trends that started at the end of the Great Recession, which is really remarkable, and I think a testament to all these government interventions.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate in November was unchanged at 3.7% and 263,000 jobs were added, with the most gains in health care, hospitality, leisure, and government. The labor market is still tight, with most job seekers easily finding work, and there haven’t been any big spikes up or down in the unemployment or job growth rates since early spring — a sign that the economy is level and steady. Barankay thinks that’s great news, despite all the negative headlines about layoffs in the tech and finance sectors and rampant speculation about a recession. He reminded news audiences to consider the source when seeing stories about the roughly 4,000 employees laid off at Twitter and 9,000 at Facebook, compared to 153.5 million people employed in the U.S. economy. Read more at Knowledge@Wharton.

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