Coronavirus caused income loss for nearly half of American households



Chief Economist on U.S. recovery and how we’re ‘standing at the bottom of the canyon’

 She had been working as a concierge services coordinator at a nonprofit performing arts organization in New York City for four years before the closure of entertainment venues across the city destroyed demand for her skills.

“Job hunting is already incredibly tough without a global pandemic,” she told Yahoo Money.

The coronavirus pandemic and response have left millions of Americans like Laura without a job and caused employment income loss for nearly half of the households across the country, according to research from the Household Pulse Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Continue reading… “Coronavirus caused income loss for nearly half of American households”

A coronavirus recession will mean more robots and fewer jobs


Automated delivery bots are already working in the small town of Milton Keynes, England.

All economic downturns increase automation. This one will be worse.

The novel coronavirus pandemic is certainly not good for the labor market. Recent weeks have seen unemployment claims surge to record levels as businesses and entire industries shutter in order to stop the spread of the Covid-19. As a result, the economy has plummeted, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 down more than 20 percent from their February highs.

While social distancing measures may be temporary, this economic downturn’s effect on the labor market will have long-lasting effects. In a joint post with his colleagues, Mark Muro, a senior fellow and policy director at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, recently wrote, “any coronavirus-related recession is likely to bring about a spike in labor-replacing automation.”

Economic downturns, he argues, bring about increased levels of automation, which is already an existential threat to many jobs. And a coronavirus recession, due to its breadth and scale, could cause even more automation.

Continue reading… “A coronavirus recession will mean more robots and fewer jobs”

Australia is on the brink of a housing collapse that resembles 2008


The U.S. has been an “island of stability” as economic woes grow all over the world. Other such islands exist, too.

Australia is high on the list. The last Down Under recession was 27—yes, 27—years ago in 1991. No other developed economy can say the same.

The long streak has a lot to do with being one of China’s top raw material suppliers during its historic boom. Australia has done other things right, too.

But all good things come to an end. While not officially in recession yet, Australia’s growth is slowing.

Continue reading… “Australia is on the brink of a housing collapse that resembles 2008”

More middle-aged moving back in with parents

middle-aged moving in with parents

Older people are quietly moving in with their parents at twice the rate of their younger counterparts.

Debbie Rohr, her husband, and twin teenage sons live in a well-tended three-bedroom home in Salinas. The ranch-style house has a spacious kitchen that looks out on a yard filled with rosebushes. It’s a modest but comfortable house, the type that Rohr, 52, pictured for herself at this stage of life.

The decline of driving in the U.S.

Americans began taking their foot off the gas pedal well before the recession.

Energy an urban-planning nerds have been pondering a very interesting question these days – has the U.S. passed peak car?  Ever since the recession, Americans have been driving less, getting fewer licenses, and using less gas. But is that just the work of the recession, or something more permanent?



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Income flowing to the top 1% is at a record high

The economic recovery belongs to the rich. It seemed ominous in 2007 when the share of national income flowing to America’s top 1% of earners reached 18.3%: the highest since just before the crash of 1929. But whereas the Depression kicked off a long era of even income growth the rich have done much better this time round.



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How technology hurts the middle class

Robot arms weld a vehicle on the assembly line at a General Motors plant.

Since the Great Recession ended four years ago, American workers’ productivity has risen. But, in the U.S. there are two million fewer jobs than before the downturn. The unemployment rate is stuck at levels not seen since the early 1990s and the proportion of adults who are working is four percentage points off its peak in 2000.



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The wealth we lost and regained since the recession started in 2007

We have recovered less than half of what we’ve lost in wealth.

Households in the United States lost roughly $16 trillion in net worth since the recession started in 2007. According to the latest Fed data, we regained about $14.6 trillion, or roughly 91 percent, of it. But let’s not break out the champagne glasses just yet.



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