Blue Counties Lead U.S. COVID Economic Recovery

“The geography of America’s economic engine is heavily concentrated in counties that Joe Biden won in 2020. These counties are much more heavily vaccinated than the rest of the country and thus better able to withstand the economic effects of Covid’s delta variant. … The 520 counties Biden won account for fully 71% of U.S. gross domestic product, while the 2,564 that Trump carried produced just 29%. In other words, America’s economic engine is bluer than ever.”

Bloomberg Businessweek

U.S. Jobless Claims Hit New Low

375,000

Associated Press: “The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell for a third straight time last week, the latest sign that employers are laying off fewer people as they struggle to fill a record number of open jobs and meet a surge in consumer demand. Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims fell to 375,000 from 387,000 the previous week. … A total of about 12 million people are receiving unemployment benefits, down sharply from the previous week’s figure of nearly 13 million… So far at least, there has been little sign that the delta variant has depressed hiring or prompted layoffs.”

Economists Expect Stimulau Package to Jump-Start U.S. Economy

5.95%

“The nearly $1.9 trillion relief package heading for House passage Wednesday is projected to help propel the U.S. economy to its fastest annual growth in nearly four decades, reduce poverty and revive inflation,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The legislation—following trillions of dollars in federal aid last year and arriving amid rising Covid-19 vaccination rates—prompted economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal in recent days to boost their average forecast for 2021 economic growth to 5.95%, measured from the fourth quarter of last year to the same period this year. That was up from their 4.87% projection last month and would be the U.S. economy’s fastest since a 7.9% burst in 1983.”