Real quick here The latest week's initial unemployment claims figures came out today. And they show claims have plummeted from their highest levels three weeks ago. I take this as a signal that the second wave of viral infections is not leading to a second large wave of layoffs.
I'm going to say it is too early too tell if the pickup in claims is already over - there is a small second wave of layoffs associated with the shuttering or cancellation of reopenings. But that is ongoing it seems, and data collection lags and errors, seasonality issues, etc, is so epic now that we definitely need more than a week to call anything a trend. Once people slow their visits to these businesses, or they are scaled back in occupancy, or they are closed again, the layoffs happen a bit later, but the system is already backlogged, so these claims wont get processed. Plus, the states that are experiencing this have horribly outdated UE claims situations, after years of underfunding.
But the biggest issue of course is the fiscal package that is probably cobbled together this week, and whether it addresses PPP in a meaningful way, as well as whether demand is clipped from scaling back UE payments. Thats when we will see the bankruptcy wave start if we dont manage to get the virus under control soon.
And the problem there is simple : schools. We will make some progress in August, and it will be completely undone and more come September.
We have such a long way to go to slog through this. There really is no hope of any meaningful and lasting progress until this administration is thrown into the garbage heap and burned. Everything the states try to accomplish is ultimately underminded from the top.
And yes, we are closer to a vaccine, but we are a long long way from when that is produced, and administered widely and effectively, and again, the administration's history of corruption makes uptake of any early vaccine lower than it should be do to avoidance (and this is not the anti-vaxxers, but many people including a lot of RNS and medical people who do not trust Trump or anything he promotes. (see hydroxycholoroquine.)