WASHINGTON – Anticipation continues to build over attempts to control the virus that has shut down our country. Especially among economists who predict controlling the virus, may be the only cure for our ailing economy.
This week, the Commerce Department reports U.S. trade has hit the worst deficit we’ve seen since the recession in 2008.
For the month of July, the Commerce Department reports our deficit, the gap between what America buys from other countries and what it’s exporting, grew by a record amount totaling $63.6 billion. That’s nearly 19% higher than just a month before.
Unemployment is also still at a record high.
The Labor Department says this past week, 881,000 people put in applications for unemployment assistance.
That’s a notable drop from the weekly average the department’s been reporting of more than 1 million. But, even still, recovery in the job market is proving to be slow-moving with 13.3 million people continuing to receive traditional jobless benefits — up from 1.7 million a year ago.
As a direct impact of the job cuts we’re seeing, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that in the second quarter, U.S. productivity rose the largest amount our nation has seen in its more than 70 years of collecting data at a 10.1% rate.
This seemingly positive percentage is only the result of how it’s calculated, however. Productivity is measured by the amount of output per hour of work. So, with the amount of hours worked in our country dropping 42.9%, even with a 37.1% decline in output, it still brings that rate up to a record high.
While economist predictions are foreboding, the Trump administration continues to remain optimistic about finding a solution to COVID and our the economy.