US to recover jobs lost amid COVID-19 by summer, Fitch forecasts

The U.S. labor market will fully recapture all jobs lost during the pandemic by the end of August, Fitch Ratings forecasts. 

The projections come in a new report from the credit rating agency, shared first with CNN on May 2. The United States is only about 1.6 million jobs shy of February 2020 levels, making the forecast feasible. Thirteen states, including Florida, Georgia, Colorado and Arizona, have already fully recovered all jobs lost during COVID-19, Fitch said.

"If anything, the jobs market looks too hot," CNN notes, with Fitch warning of "acute labor shortages in many states," particularly in the West and Midwest. Just eight states have fully recovered or exceeded their pre-COVID-19 labor force participation rate, according to Fitch.

If Fitch's forecasted recovery timeline holds, payrolls would have returned to pre-crisis levels in barely two years. Fitch said it took six years and five months for the jobs market to fully rebound in the recovery from the Great Recession in 2007-09.

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