LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — While many people worry about the long term economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, some economists said the bounce back may be quicker than expected.
Economist Chris Thornberg, University of California Riverside professor and co-founder of local research firm Beacon Economics, found in his latest analysis that the unemployment rate in the U.S. will be close to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.READ MORE: LA County Not Closing COVID Vaccine Super Sites Despite Drop In Demand
“We think this is going to be probably one of the worst second quarters ever seen in the United States for growth, but probably the best quarter for growth ever in the third quarter as we bounce back sharply.”
“We started this year with the unemployment rate roughly at three and a half percent on the national level. We expect we’re going to finish the year with an unemployment rate running between four and a half and five percent. Yeah, I get it’s optimistic particularly relative to last business cycle,” he said.
According to Thornberg, other Americans seem to agree.
“If you look at the data coming from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the vast majority of these folks declare themselves being on a temporary layoff, not permanently removed from their former job,” Thornberg said.READ MORE: Martin Luther King Jr. Had Strong Relationship With LA During Civil Rights Movement
He also said while many Americans and small businesses are suffering financially, there are also a lot of people saving money.
“One of the best indicators for us came from the March income numbers, which showed the savings rate jumped from eight percent above 13 percent. That’s the highest it’s ever been on record.”
According to the analysis, advancement in healthcare technology will dramatically help economic recovery.
“What we expect is over the next few months, the government, various public health agencies, will have Swat teams if you will of specialist running around tracking down any cases, getting to the core very quickly, and making sure it doesn’t spread like wildfire the way it did this time around,” he said.MORE NEWS: Burbank Cancels Outdoor Face Covering Order
Thornberg said he acknowledges we are not out of the woods quite yet when it comes to the virus, so the amount of economic damage done will depend on how long closures last, how healthy the economy was before, and what our governments are doing.