St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard put in a vote of confidence for the U.S. economy on Wednesday (July 8), saying that the unemployment rate could fall as low as 7 percent by the end of 2020, according to CNBC.
The unemployment rate is currently at 11.1 percent, a post-World War II high for the nation, and at the height of the pandemic in April it was at 14.7 percent. Those numbers are a sharp contrast to the 3.5 percent unemployment the country was seeing before the pandemic — a 50-year low.
Bullard said he thought the country was “tracking very well right now.”
“Seems to me like by the end of the year you can get down certainly to single digits, probably even below 8 percent, maybe 7 percent by the end of the year,” he said, according to CNBC.
Bullard’s optimism is rooted in the rollout of reopenings across the country, which has seen nonfarm jobs rising by 7.5 percent. Recently, the virus has been spiking again with several states seeing new record highs, but Bullard said he thought those numbers would goad people to wear masks even more vigilantly. That, he said, would help the economy continue to bounce back over the rest of the year.
With possible new government financial aid coming eventually, Bullard said all of it seemed to paint a positive picture for the future.
“What I like about that scenario is it does not rely on a vaccine coming or a therapeutic coming,” he said, according to CNBC. “We can use simple, easy technology that we have today, get a good situation, get most of the production back to normal.”
PYMNTS recently reported that the jobless rates, when one looks closer at the numbers, show that almost half of U.S. adults, or 47 percent, lack a job. That includes those who are not working and no longer actively looking for a job.
Other numbers show that 7.2 percent of workers, or over 11 million adults, have no hope of returning to a job they lost due to the pandemic. And, 3.5 percent, or 5.7 million workers, believe they’ll get called back but likely won’t.