WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economic recovery continued to advance at a slow pace over the past week, with signs that businesses were still rehiring workers but also that a gusher of government assistance earlier in the year may have run its course.
Shifts worked at a variety of industries increased, and the pace of weekly shift growth through September moved back to 1% after falling over the summer, according to data from time management firm UKG https://www.kronos.com/about-us/newsroom/update-us-workforce-activity. Shifts across industries were approaching 95% of the levels at the start of the year, before efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus prompted widespread business closures in the spring.
Employment in real time: https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ECONOMY/REOPENING/gjnvwxamxpw/chart.png
Estimates of retail traffic based on cellphone data moved above their March 1 level, before a state of emergency was declared, according to information from Safegraph https://www.safegraph.com/dashboard/covid19-commerce-patterns.
Estimates of national retail foot traffic from Unacast https://www.unacast.com/covid19/covid-19-retail-impact-scoreboard fell slightly when measured against levels from just before the pandemic. But the company’s analysis of 15 industries nationally showed visits were just 4% below where they were in 2019 for the week ended Sept. 26.
Retail in real time: https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ECONOMY/REOPEN/yzdvxxyzlvx/chart.png
Job openings data from Chmura http://www.chmuraecon.com/blog Economics and hiring site Indeed https://www.hiringlab.org/2020/09/30/job-postings-through-sept-25 showed companies continued adding jobs, with postings on Indeed now 17% below 2019, the smallest gap since late March.
Those slight signs of improvement in high-frequency data, however, appeared against a much more uncertain backdrop.
So far, the U.S. rebound from the coronavirus-triggered recession has kept steadily on track. The third quarter, covering the July-September period, is expected to show the largest ever annualized jump in U.S. gross domestic product, somewhat offsetting the epic collapse from March through June.
Job growth averaged more than 2.5 million per month through the late spring and summer, and new data