How long will California economy languish?


In summary

California’s once-surging economy has been clobbered by the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery could be slow.

As COVID-19 began surging through California a year ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency and ordered widespread restrictions on personal and economic activity to curb infection rates.

His actions immediately triggered a severe economic recession. California had been enjoying record-low unemployment just before the shutdown, 3.9% of the labor force, but within weeks the jobless rate quickly shot up to a record-high 16.4% as employers laid off workers.

Initially, there was a fingers-crossed hope that the recession would be what economists call a “V” — a deep plunge followed by an equally rapid recovery. However, as the public health crisis and the recession continued, it became apparent that it would be a “U” — a steep decline that reaches bottom, eventually followed by a gradual recovery.


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