US economy, tourism and employment: still on the mend
The recovery of the American economy post-pandemic was robust, but not equitable across the country. Many people had to work from home and it has been perceived as a kind of vacation. However, they have not yet finished reaching the pre-pandemic levels of the economy, tourism and employment, according Myles Udland at Yahoo Finance.
On Wednesday, Yelp posted consumer interest tracking data on its platform and found that a almost complete recovery relative to 2019 levels in many categories and regions. And in some states and metropolitan areas, the economy is improving significantly than before the pandemic. In particular, many of these metropolitan areas are also popular vacation spots where many urban dwellers have fled.
“Cities most recovered compared to spring 2019 before the pandemic, include Kill Devil Hills, NC (138% recovered), Jackson, WY (132% recovered), Vineyard Haven, MA (113% recovered) and St. George, UT (137% recovered) “wrote the firm.
“Among the least recovered cities are the most populated metropolitan areas: the city of New York (65% recovered), New Orleans (67% recovered), Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN (72% recovered), as well as San Francisco and Oakland (75% recovered) “added Yelp.
“And who wouldn’t want to trade New York for Martha’s Vineyard and San Francisco for Jackson Hole when your company’s office is closed?” Says Udland.
Other places with lots of vacations flagged by Yelp as having recovered more strongly during the pandemic included Jersey Shore, Napa Valley, Key West and South Padre Island off the southern coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. A quick look at this Yelp map, and we see more Mountain West heavy second home locations booming as college towns in the Midwest lagged during the pandemic as well.
But the noise from employers asking workers to return to the offices continues to increase. Here in the New York City metropolitan area, several financial firms have clearly mapped out their plans and expectations for employees to return to work. New lease signings in New York, meanwhile, have increased in the spring, after a year characterized by landlords practically paying tenants to sign on the dotted line.
A normal academic year should help Champaign, IL and Madison, WI, two notable laggards in recovery, set to grow again in 2021, while more tourism and a Mardi Gras complete in 2022 should put New Orleans on the way to outperforming the 2019 economic output.
However, losing a year of students, tourists, or office workers cannot be undone. As Fed Chairman Jay Powell said in the spring, you can only go out to dinner once a night.
“And although total GDP production could already be at pre-pandemic levels, the labor market tells us how unevenly some of these earnings are being distributed. The economy right now could be performing relative to what we expected in the post-financial crisis recovery, but this expansion will have to last longer, or function much longer, before we can talk about the end of the pandemic crisis. ”, Concludes Udland.