ReportTen facts around COVID-19 and also the U.S. EconomyLauren Bauer, Kristen Broady, Wendy Edelberg, and Jimmy O’DonnellThursday, September 17, 2020

The coronavirus 2019 condition (COVID-19) pandemic has developed both a public health and wellness crisis and an economic crisis in the unified States. The pandemic has disrupted lives, driven the hospital device to its capacity, and created a an international economic slowdown. As of September 15, 2020 there have been much more than 6.5 million evidenced COVID-19 cases and more than 195,000 deaths in the United states (Johns Hopkins university n.d.). To put these numbers into context, the pandemic has now claimed an ext than 3 times the American lives that were shed in the Vietnam war (Ducharme 2020; authors’ calculations). The economic crisis is extraordinary in that is scale: the pandemic has created a demand shock, a supply shock, and also a gaue won shock in its entirety (Triggs and Kharas 2020).

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Lauren Bauer

Fellow - economic Studies, The Hamilton Project


Kristen Broady

Fellow - Metropolitan policy Program


Wendy Edelberg

Director - The Hamilton Project

Senior other - economic Studies


Jimmy O’Donnell

Former an elderly Research Assistant - The Hamilton Project


On the public wellness front, the spread of the virus has exhibited clear geographic trends, beginning in the densely inhabited urban centers and then dispersing to more-rural parts of the country (Desjardins 2020). Number A shows the weekly number of deaths brought about by COVID-19 in each U.S. Region from late February to late August 2020. Early on, COVID-19 cases were concentrated in coastal population centers, an especially in the Northeast, with cases in new York, new Jersey, and also Massachusetts peaking in April (Desjardins 2020). By April 9 there had been more COVID-19–related deaths in brand-new York and brand-new Jersey 보다 in the rest of the joined States an unified (New York time 2020). COVID-19–related deaths climate peaked in the new England and also Rocky mountain regions during the third week of April, complied with by the good Lakes region in the 4th week the April, and also the Mideast (excluding brand-new York and brand-new Jersey) and also the plains regions during the an initial week of May. The Southeast, Southwest, and also Far West regions all competent their peaks at the finish of July and very first week of August.


The COVID-19 crisis has additionally had differential impacts among various racial and also ethnic groups. Inequities in the social determinants of health—income and also wealth, health-care accessibility and utilization, education, occupation, discrimination, and housing—are interrelated and put some racial and ethnic minority groups at enhanced risk the contracting and dying indigenous COVID-19 (Centers for disease Control and Prevention 2020c). Inequities in infectious condition outcomes are the byproduct of decades of federal government policies that have actually systematically disadvantaged Black, Hispanic, and Native American areas (Cowger et al. 2020). Because that example, together a result of plans that have helped to recognize the location, quality, and residential thickness for human being of color, Black and Hispanic people are clustered in the very same high-density, urban locations that were most affected in the very first months that the pandemic (Cowger et al. 2020; Hardy and Logan 2020). In addition, black people and Native American civilization disproportionately usage public transit, which has been linked with greater COVID-19 contraction prices (McLaren 2020).

Relatedly, those demographic groups came right into the dilemm with a greater incidence the preexisting comorbidities consisting of hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, which additionally increase one’s danger of contracting and also dying indigenous COVID-19 (Yancy 2020; beam 2020). Compared to white, non-Hispanic Americans, black color Americans room 2.6 times more likely come contract COVID-19, 4.7 times more likely to it is in hospitalized together a an outcome of contracting the virus, and 2.1 times an ext likely to dice from COVID-19–related health worries (CDC 2020b). If non-Hispanic white world are dying in the biggest numbers (CDC 2020a), Black and also Hispanic people are dice at much greater rates loved one to your share the the U.S. Population (see number B1); moreover, this disparity is true because that every period group (figure B2).


While voluntary social distancing and lockdowns the took result in march 2020 worked initially come isolate and drive under infections, those actions precipitation a severe economic downturn. The need shock resulting from quarantine, unemployment, and also business closures handle a punch to customer services (Bartik, Bertrand, Cullen, et al. 2020). Lockdown measures and also social distancing reduced the economy’s volume to produce goods and services (Brinca, Duarte, and Faria-e-Castro 2020; Gupta, Simon, and also Wing 2020).

The nationwide Bureau of economic Research (NBER) figured out that a optimal in monthly economic activity occurred in the U.S. Economy in February 2020, marking the finish of the longest recorded U.S. Expansion, which started in June 2009 (NBER n.d.). Number C shows the percent distinction in genuine (inflation-adjusted) gross residential product (GDP) indigenous the top of a organization cycle through the quarter once GDP returned to the level that the previous service cycle top for current recessions. Native the many recent top in the fourth quarter the 2019, the United states experienced 2 consecutive soldier of decreases in GDP; it also recorded its steepest quarterly autumn in economic output on record, a to decrease of 9.1 percent in the second quarter the 2020 (Bureau of Economic evaluation 2020a; authors’ calculations). To placed this contraction into historical context, quarterly GDP had actually never knowledgeable a drop higher than 3 percent (at a quarterly, nonannualized rate) due to the fact that record keeping began in 1947 (Routley 2020).


Figure D shows the percent readjust in employment family member to organization cycle peaks. COVID-19–related project losses wiped out 113 right months of job growth, with full nonfarm employment fall by 20.5 million tasks in April (BLS 2020b; authors’ calculations). The COVID-19 pandemic and associated financial shutdown created a situation for every workers, but the impact was greater for women, non-white workers, lower-wage earners, and those with less education and learning (Stevenson 2020). In December 2019 ladies held more nonfarm payroll tasks than guys for the very first time during a duration of task growth; by may 2020 that partnership was reversed, in part reflecting task losses in the leisure and hospitality industry, wherein women account for 53 percent of employees (Stevenson 2020).


The COVID-19 crisis additionally led come dramatic swings in family spending. Retail sales, which generally tracks sales of consumer goods, declined 8.7 percent indigenous February to March 2020, the largest month-to-month decrease since the Census Bureau started tracking the data (U.S. Census bureau 2020a). Although some areas (e.g., grocery stores, pharmacies, and also non-store retailers) saw increases in demand as lockdown measures began, others (e.g., clothes stores, furniture and also appliances stores, food services and drinking places, sporting and also hobby stores, and gasoline stations) experienced declines. In at an early stage May, together some states lifted society distancing restrictions, sales started to recoup in most products sectors (U.S. Census office 2020a). Overall, U.S. Retail sales raised 17.7 percent indigenous April come May, the largest monthly run on record, recouping 63 percent the March and April’s losses (U.S. Census bureau 2020a). Expansion in sleeve sales continued through the summer: by August, retail sales to be 2.6 percent over their respectable 2019 level (U.S. Census office 2020a).To help put those swings in such spending into historical context, figure E reflects the percent change in real development retail and also food sales from the optimal of a company cycle throughout recessions in between 1980 and also 2020.


In enhancement to consumer spending, the COVID-19 dilemm has damaged the nation’s industrial production (i.e., calculation in the manufacturing, mining, and also utility sectors). As shown in figure F, U.S. Industrial production dropped high solution in March and also has due to the fact that only partially rebounded. This decline poses a hold of obstacles for the U.S. Production sector, i beg your pardon employs nearly 13 million workers (Federal Reserve financial institution of St. Luigi 2020a), particularly those that rely on workers whose work cannot be lugged out remotely.

The impacts of the crisis vary by market subsector, through the construction machinery subsector having experienced less-severe results than it confronted during the 2007–09 financial situation due come expected government infrastructure stimuli and an increase in e-commerce, while suppliers in the an equipment tools, plastics machinery, and steel production equipment sectors have actually been much more negatively impacted (Kronenwett 2020). In addition, the partial fag in commercial production was increased by a 107 percent rise in auto production in June 2020 (Board that Governors that the federal Reserve system 2020, table 1).

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Six months right into the COVID-19 crisis, we existing 10 facts about the state the the U.S. Economy. We highlight effects that COVID-19 has had actually on businesses, the labor market, and households. Us conclude through considering exactly how policy has supported businesses and also families due to the fact that March 2020. Take away together, this facts explain a joint economic and public health dilemm of a scale and at a speed unprecedented in the history of the joined States.