President Biden, Ali Vel, Jumpstart discussed on Here & Now
We've watched over the last eighteen months. What a pandemic can do to an economy. Industrial production is out of wack. Small business revenue is down. Addictions are up and people aren't spending as much. President biden says his latest efforts to rein in covert nineteen with a vaccination mandate or testing requirement for companies with more than one hundred. Employees is not only a health imperative. It's vital to help jumpstart are faltering economic recovery. Let's check in with ali vel she. Msnbc anchor and economics correspondent for more welcome. Thanks good to be back with you. Yeah alley let's look at where the economy stands right now. There are some very positive signs of a few months back but that is somewhat shifted. What is the recovery. Compared to economists and officials had hoped we would be right now so the interesting part is actually better off than most people thought we would be a year or year and a half ago right. We thought it would be twenty twenty two before we saw sort of a full recovery. We've already seen wages up. Which is typical of a tight. Employment market People are finding it. Hard to businesses are finding it hard to find employees We've we've also seen Unemployment go down to five percent now is in the threes before the The pandemic but we really thought we'd be well into two thousand twenty two. the problem is the trajectory. The slope has changed if things were getting. Were opening fast. People were spending money things. Were getting back to normal and the delta variant has completely changed that around. It's threatened two things one is people and they're spending and being out there. The other thing is it's made it very unclear. What parents should do about their kids. Because there's this back to school thing where. A lot of schools want to reopen but some schools don't have mask mandate some states. Allow them to do so. Parents are concerned and kids under twelve. Can't get vaccinated so all of this is affecting consumer psyche right now. The economy is generally speaking was moving in the right direction and could be again but the delta variant is is slowing it down. It's been it's been a substantial hiccup. How much does this slowdown in. Recovery differ between places with high and low vaccination rates. Well it's it's interesting because places with low. Vaccination rates are seeing much more covert and as a result are feeling harder hit but there are also the places where there are no lock down there are generally speaking no restrictions. So you know where you see. People pulling back is in dining and entertainment and things like that but in some of those places. They're not pulling back because they they've never pulled back or they're not imposing restrictions so it it's kind of unusual. The map of where cova is exploding. Right now is not necessarily the map of where things are slowing down. Because it is the states that had lockdowns and mandates early that are in some cases doing it again places like new and california and yet the explosions in cova are in a lot of other states in most cases in the south they're still large barriers preventing people though from coming back to the workforce childcare stagnant wages. How much of this slowdown do you attribute to. The delta variant I think it's i think the issue of childcare and school is a very very big one because there are people who are thinking about going back to work after the year that they've had and they're unsure about what the school situation is going to be. Because there's so much debate about it so you may know what your school district is doing. But there's so much debate at the state level the national level about How to deal with kids and masks and things like that then. I think some parents are holding off as much as they can before returning to work. Now remember there are a lot of americans who've been working from home and they're still in the game this is about people who have been unemployed Or you know chose to leave their jobs. Are there more hesitant than you would expect to get back into the job market right now. We are seeing wages increase as a result which is interesting because there's been such a long battle about increasing. The minimum wage at the federal level with the minimum wage at the federal level is still seven dollars and twenty five cents but no employer can find someone to work for that kind of money. These days i want to go back to something you said about places where we see high on vaccination rates and and spending in those areas. There's a drop in spending though in areas with high vaccination. How do you think biden's plan addresses. The issues. consumers have in those areas. Is it hesitancy to go out and spend or the belt so you'll see it. The hesitancy tends to be in dining and entertainment in heavily vaccinated parts of the country. A lot of virus wary americans including those who've been vaccinated who are worried about getting Grow virus that is spread by by large unvaccinated population. Even in places like new york They've pulled back on some of their economic activity. Even though infection rates among vaccinated people in highly vaccinated states is very low your likelihood of getting vaccinated getting ill and suffering a substantial illness. If you've been vaccinated is low but play places like new york. For instance or massachusetts people are pulling back a little bit in less vaccinated states like texas for instance that have experienced a large wave of delta infections. The rising hospitalization and death rates are not really driving economic activity as much as they did in previous waves. So it's it's it's definitely an instance of what's actually happening is not the thing that's driving behavior. It's what people think is happening. So if you live in a place where you just don't believe that this kobe thing is a threat you. You're maintaining your economic activity so much to talk about alley. Vel she allie vel she. Msnbc anchor and economics correspondent as always. Thank you my pleasure. Here now is production of npr in wb. You are. I'm tanya mostly and i'm scott. Tong this is here now..