Economists say US response to COVID-19 could impact how economy rebounds

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CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The final unemployment report of 2020 showed a silver lining: there was a slight drop in Americans seeking jobless benefits. According to the Labor Department, the jobless rate was 6.7% in November compared to 6.9% in October.

NewsNation’s Joe Donlon talked with two economic experts to get their forecast on the employment market in 2021 and how economy will look moving into the new year.

“I think what we saw was elevated unemployment claims very similar to what we’ve seen in previous weeks, it just indicates ongoing weakness in the jobs market that persists,” said Steve Daniels, Senior Reporter, Crain’s Chicago Business.

He said most of the weakness is in the service industry with workers being laid off as the colder weather set in.

“Once the virus is under control and the public has the confidence that it is under control, then the economy will perform in turn and it probably won’t take too long,” Daniels said. “We have vaccines that work so it’s all about how quickly we can get the population vaccinated and that’s really the open question in terms of timing.”

John Shellady, “The Cow Guy,” is the Senior Vice President of Derivatives at the Trean Group. He said with 20% of small businesses gone, the economy should reopen.

“We are not going to get back to normal, everybody wants us to, but we’re not, we can’t. If we have to have social distancing and have to have masks, you can’t ask a business to run at 50% compacity, you just can’t,” Shellady said. “As long as you have these things in place like masks and social distancing it’s just going to be a ball and chain on the economy and recovery of the economy.”

Watch the complete interview in the video player above.

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