DORAL, FL – According to a forecast made by a University of Central Florida economist, Florida’s economy and job market will return to pre-pandemic levels until late 2021.
In an interview with South Florida Sun Sentinel, Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Forecasting at the University of Central Florida, said “it’s the public health measures and the lingering fears that are weighing on the recovery.”
“Businesses are not going back to the levels of staffing pre-pandemic. If they survive the shutdowns, they are no doubt extra cautious about managing costs and are proceeding quite slowly,” added Snaith.
The report made by University of Central Florida took into consideration several predictions about Florida’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic to make the statement.
Among those are: Payroll job losses in Florida between the first quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2020 will be nearly 767,000, while the state’s unemployment rate will remain over 10% through the fourth quarter of 2020, falling to 7.6% in 2021, and 3.9% in 2022.
In addition, Florida’s economy will not return to pre-pandemic levels “until the third quarter of 2021. It will contract by 5.2% this year and ultimately grow by 6.7%,” reads the Sun Suntinel article.
But it also considered other events such as the falling (to be shown) during the first semester of 2020 of new passenger car and truck registration by more than 580,000.
And the report also reads, “retail sales will be shown to have plunged by a quarterly average of $38.4 billion during the first half of 2020.”
The UCF report comes in the middle of another spike in unemployment claims with the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity for the week ending July 18.
Through early this week, Florida has paid a little more than $11 billion in benefits since March 15. Of that amount, $8 billion has come from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program which has been given unemployed Americans $600 weekly payments. These are scheduled to expire Saturday in Florida and other states.
Among the hardest hit industries by the pandemic are hotels, restaurants, retailers and transportation companies.