The U.S. economy is sparking confusion and whiplash almost as fast as it’s adding jobs.
Barely more than a year after the coronavirus caused the steepest economic fall and job losses on record, the speed of the rebound has been so unexpectedly swift that many companies can’t fill jobs or acquire enough supplies to meet a pent-up burst of customer demand.
“Things exploded — it was like a light switch,” said Kirby Mallon, president of Elmer Schultz Services, a family-owned Philadelphia firm that repairs and maintains kitchen equipment for restaurants and other clients. “The labor market is just out of control. We literally cannot hire technicians … We ramped up so quickly, the supply chain wasn’t ready for it.’’
Economic forecasters, with little historical precedent to guide them through the aftermath of a global pandemic, are pondering questions they can’t answer with any confidence: