With new claims for unemployment benefits topping one million for 20 weeks in a row, whether job growth continues robustly, weakly, or at all depends on three factors, analysts say.
First, 45 million working Americans have school-age children. If schools do not fully reopen, many parents will forego full-time work to remain at home to supervise their kids. So far, most U.S. school districts will reopen with fully remote or only part-time in-person classes; the only large school district to open buildings full-time is the Dallas School District in Texas. New York State is scheduled to reopen as well.
Second, Congress is deadlocked over renewing economic recovery spending. The federal $600 weekly unemployment bonus has ended; if Congress fails renew some level of household support, many of the 20 million individuals out of work will be forced to curtail spending, reducing demand for goods and, subsequently, the need to rehire workers.
Third, the resilient virus is leading state and local officials to mull renewing shutdown orders to some degree. Any new shutdowns, or continuation of previous ones, will hobble job growth.