Jay Kesavan
5 min readAug 14, 2020




The Labor Department said Thursday that the US economy added a record 4.8 million jobs in June as the U.S. continued it’s reopening from the coronavirus pandemic — the figure is better than the expected increase of 2.9 million, according to the economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The report also noted the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent in June, down from 13.3% in May. The employment growth marked a big leap from the 2.7 million in May, which was revised up by 190,000. The June report suggesting that the employment is improving after a stunning collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic and marked the largest single monthly gain in U.S. history. Finally, “our economy is roaring back,” President Donald Trump said in a news conference.


The New York City Department of Education estimates that 20% of the city’s 80,000 teachers may opt to teach from home then return to their classrooms if schools reopen due to COVID-19 fears. About 4 in 10 parents and teachers say schools should not reopen before a coronavirus vaccine is widely available. According to the family survey done by Education Department on Thursday, nearly 22% of families are “not at all comfortable” with returning to campus in the fall and 26% of families prefer for their students to continue to learn remotely. Meanwhile, 72% of parents said they prefer to send their children to school if safety measures are in place. Michael Mulgrew, president of the UFT, the union that represents about 120,000 current city Education Department employees, estimates that schools could need as much as 15% more money to reopen safely.


The CBO said that GDP is projected to shrink 5.9% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared with a year earlier- worse than the 5.6% drop it projected in May. Though the economy is likely to grow 4.8% next year on a fourth-quarter-to-fourth-quarter basis. The agency said the economy won’t return to its pre-pandemic size until mid-2022. In its May 19 estimate, the Congressional Budget Office had projected a 5.6% decline this year and growth of 4.2% in 2021. However, the effect of lockdown on the economy will linger for years to come, particularly for those new to the labor market. The CBO sees unemployment averaging 6.3% in 2023–2024, with gross domestic product growth rates averaging 2.2%.


The U.S retail and hospitality industries — hardest-hit by COVID-19 pandemic have noticed that the strongest job gains in the past 2 months as the U.S. economic engine restarted. Employment in leisure and hospitality accounted for the biggest jump, as the sector saw a 2.1 million gain, accounting for about 40% of June’s employment growth. Retail also saw the strongest job gain of 740,000 in June, up from 372,000 in May. Education and health services added 568,000, construction (158,000), professional and business services (306,000) — all these industries saw job gains, resulting in a “total nonfarm payroll employment” increase of 4.8 Million for June. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in food services and bars is down by 3.1 million since February.


The Department of Commerce said that the U.S. trade deficit increased 9.7% to $54.6 billion, highest since December 2018. Both imports and exports fell as the pandemic continued to take a toll on world commerce. US exports dropped 4.4% in May to $144.5 billion, the lowest level since November 2009, as the COVID-19 crisis hit global demand. Goods exports jumped 5.8% to $90.0 billion, the lowest since August 2009. Meanwhile, imports slid 0.9% to $199.1 billion, the lowest since July 2010. Goods imports dropped 0.8% to $166.0 billion, the lowest since September 2010. So far this year, the overall U.S. deficit in the trade of goods and services has fallen 9.1% to $223.4 billion from $245.7 billion in January-May 2019.


According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications in the United States decreased 1.8 percent in the week ended June 26th, the second consecutive period of decline. The MBA’s weekly mortgage applications survey showed a 1% decrease in the seasonally adjusted purchase index and a 2% decrease in the refinance index but were 74% higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 61.2% of total applications from 61.3% the previous week, Mortgage Bankers Association said. Applications to refinance a home loan dropped 2.2 percent and homebuyer mortgage applications were down 1.3 percent.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of sales in Manhattan dropped 54 percent compared to the same period last year, the largest decline in at least 30 years, according to a new report. The median sale price fell 18%, compared to the same time last year, to $1 million — the biggest drop since the second quarter of 2009. Signed contracts dropped 78% in June compared with a year ago, according to the report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. The number of contracts signed for condos was down 74%. Garrett Derderian says the market may return to some semblance of normal by the first quarter of 2021.


A new Gallup poll shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans think the country is getting worse. A new high of 65% of US adults say the coronavirus situation in the United States is getting worse — the figure is an increase from 37 percent just two weeks earlier, and the previous high of 56 percent in April. Meanwhile, 23% say it is getting better — down from 47 percent earlier this month, the release said. Between 62% and 68% of those living in the four major regions of the U.S. say it is worsening. Nearly 3 in 4 Americans except disruption to persist through the end of the year or longer.


Scientists developed a new high-tech glove-like device that could translate American Sign Language (ALS) into speech in real-time — designed to help deaf people to communicate directly with anyone without the need for a translator. The signs would be read out through a smartphone connected to the glove. ASL is one of the most frequently used sign languages throughout the U.S. and Canada and also including Southeast Asia and West Africa. In the United States, an estimated 100,000 to 1 million people use American Sign Language as their primary form of communication.



Jay Kesavan

Ai | Future of Work | Prof. HR Analytics @ NYU