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The US economy is recovering from the pandemic losses, but concerns about the Delta variant remain

Jared Bernstein:

It is, of course, a concern that we are carefully monitoring.

But let me give you three contextual points that I think are really important in this context. First of all, we have already talked about one of them. That is economic dynamism. If you have a labor market that creates more than 800,000 jobs a month, when you’ve halved unemployment claims in nearly six months, a trend that typically lasts more than a year if your GDP is back above its trend for at least a year before forecasters expected it, you have real momentum.

Second: vaccinations. When that president came into office, 1 percent, 1 percent, Judy, of the adults were vaccinated. Today it’s 60 percent. That, of course, is vital to get that number up, but it’s one of the reasons we’re not going back to lockdown, we’re not going to go back until March 2020 or even January 2021.

And third – and this is perhaps the most important thing in terms of future prospects – we have the public health scaffolding to meet this Delta challenge. Now people have to join in. You need to make sure they get vaccinated. We will need to work carefully with state and local decision-makers to ensure both the aid, especially those in the rental sector, arrives and to ensure that we continue to receive these gun shots.

But we have this public health infrastructure. And that should give Americans a lot of confidence that these trends that we are seeing should continue.

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