WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — New unemployment numbers nationwide are indicating a slowdown to recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic seems to grow.
"This is still a dire situation for the nation and still for the state of Florida," said Mark Hamrick, senior economist at Bankrate.com.
Hamrick said Florida appears to be near the front of a new wave of job losses with 105,000 new jobless claims in the state last week.
"The leading edge of the businesses affected by this wave of unemployment include those very important here in South Florida and the state -- that's leisure and hospitality and retailing," Hamrick said. "The earlier hopes for a so-called V-shaped recovery, I think those have all but dashed at this point, and I think we know the reason. The reason is we have failed to vanquish the outbreak itself."
Hamrick said the long-range forecast now points to a long recovery for the job market, which may not fully occur until a coronavirus vaccine is on the market.
Adding to the economic stress, Hamrick said, is the fact some unemployment benefits are expiring. Congress is currently debating a second stimulus package.
"This adds not only another layer of uncertainty for both consumers and businesses, which is the last thing we need, but it also means people on unemployment don't exactly know what they'll be getting in coming weeks, and that adds insult to injury," he said.