By M. Ray Perryman, PhD, CEO and President – The Perryman Group
The United States economy gained 6,838,000 net new jobs over the twelve-month period ending February 2022 for an annual employment growth rate of 4.81%. Over the past year, the leisure and hospitality industries featured both the largest job gains (2,179,700 net new jobs) and the fastest job growth in percentage terms (17.38%) as travel resumed as the pandemic calmed and vaccinations became readily available.
Jobs were up across the board, with all industries reporting job gains from February 2021 to February 2022. The nation’s unemployment rate in February was down significantly from a year prior.
Over the past few months, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped sharply as the Omicron surge receded. While there is always the potential that another variant could emerge and cause further difficulties, for the time being the pandemic appears to be moderating and becoming more manageable.
Inflation – Inflation is at historic highs, causing problems for individuals, households, and businesses. While a portion of upward price pressure is transitory and will likely lessen over time, overall inflation is likely to remain elevated to some extent for the foreseeable future.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has not only caused uncertainty, but has also pushed up oil prices, which were already rising as demand increased. The Federal Reserve is taking action to slow to the economy, which should reduce price pressure.
Supply chain issues are dampening performance in some industries as well as contributing to inflation. Labor shortages are another problem, and some analysts have questioned whether the labor market is overheating.
Despite these challenges, the US economy is expected to see significant growth. The Perryman Group’s most recent projections indicate real gross product is forecast to expand by +3.68% this year on a year-over-year basis, with +3.41% growth in 2023. Job gains are projected to be +4.648 million through 2022, with a gain of +3.380 million jobs next year.
About Dr. M. Ray Perryman and the Perryman Group
Dr. M. Ray Perryman is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Perryman Group (www.perrymangroup.com). He also serves as Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies.