The 4% GDP headline masks the reality that output is still off 2.46% from a year ago and GDP is only 0.96% higher since the 3rd quarter.
Output is obviously being held back because of the quantity and quality of work available.
According to the December jobs report, the number of long-term unemployed—meaning without a job for more than six months—is 4 million.
There are still 6.2 million people who are employed only part-time because they can’t find full-time work.
The number of people who are considered out of the workforce is 7.3 million.
Another 15.8 million people said they didn’t work at all or had fewer hours in the last four weeks because their employer lost business or closed, due to the pandemic.
Maybe business will begin to come back in the summer when a majority will be vaccinated.
Maybe it might take much longer for a new “normal,” even with some govt relief to stave off more job losses and to fill some of the output hole we are still in.
The alternative might be worse … an economy that stalls with millions still out of work.