The recession associated with the COVID-19 pandemic announced itself in spring 2020 with head-spinning job losses: 22 million lost jobs within two months, a shock that is hard to overstate.
But aside from a brief winter setback due to surging COVID-19 cases, the U.S. economy has, fortunately, gained jobs each month since this initial hemorrhage. Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced the economy added an expectations-beating 850,000 jobs in June, and wages also rose. This is unreservedly good news, but the economy is still down 7 million jobs, long-term unemployment is up, and many workers and families continue to struggle. (author abstract)