- September 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 8

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Positive trends: Post-COVID-19, middle-income housing is even more essential

by Peter Muoio, Russell Appel, Peter Calatozzo and Cory Loviglio

The record-long economic expansion came to a sharp halt with the COVID-19 crisis, causing record drops across various economic indicators. The labor market lost more than 22 million jobs, while unemployment swelled to nearly 15 percent, some 500 basis points above prior financial crisis peaks. While the economic recovery has cooled after an initial burst and some challenges should be expected, there are reasons for broader optimism in a strong recovery. COVID-19 vaccines were developed very quickly and have proven to be highly effective so far. The labor market continues to improve, already recovering more than 15 million of the more than 22 million jobs lost, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while unemployment has fallen 890 basis points from its peak to 5.9 percent, as of June.

The Federal Reserve’s industrial production index similarly rebounded but remains 3.4 percent shy of its pre-pandemic level. The ISM’s index of national factory activity soared to its

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