Unemployment Drops, But There Are Storm Clouds Ahead

The job market has a long way to go and the path won't be easy

Jun 08, 2020
Finance

SMITH BRAIN TRUST  The U.S. job market rebounded in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, suggesting that some of the tens of millions of jobs lost amid the coronavirus shutdowns are beginning to come back. But it’s too early for unbridled optimism, Maryland Smith’s Albert “Pete” Kyle tells CBS New York.

The world is a different place than it was three months ago, and the job market’s recovery will depend on several factors, says Kyle, the Charles E. Smith Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, down from 14.7% in April. The improvement came as employers who had temporarily laid off workers began calling them to come back to work as quarantine restrictions lifted and as some businesses began to reopen.

When an employee-employer relationships already exist, rehiring is easier, faster and less expensive than starting from scratch with a hiring process. According to Kyle, “it’s quite likely that workers will just go back to their old jobs.”

The caveat, of course, is that the job has to still exist. And in some industries, Kyle warns, that won’t be the case.

Read more: For more of Kyle's insights about the labor market and the broader economy, go to "Unemployment Unexpectedly Drops, But Full Recovery Not Imminent," at CBS New York.

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About the Expert(s)

Pete Kyle

Albert S. (Pete) Kyle has been the Charles E. Smith Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business since 2006. He earned is B.S. degree in mathematics from Davidson College (summa cum laude, 1974), studied philosophy and economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar from Texas (Merton College, 1974-1976, and Nuffiled College, 1976-1977), and completed his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Chicago in 1981. He has been a professor at Princeton University (1981-1987), the University of California Berkeley (1987-1992), and Duke University (1992-2006).

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