As Covid cases increased in July and August, Americans bought fewer plane tickets and reduced hotel stays. Food in restaurants, having recovered fully in late June, has fallen to around 10 percent below pre-pandemic levels.
Some live shows, including the remaining concerts on country star Garth Brooks’ tour, have been canceled. Companies are delaying their return to offices and threatening the survival of some restaurants, cafes and dry cleaners in the city center.
Supply bottlenecks have also led to a surge in inflation, with consumer prices rising by the sharpest in three decades, according to the Fed’s preferred measure. In turn, rising inflationary pressures contributed to a sharp decline in consumer confidence.
Still, there is evidence that many companies are still looking for employees, especially those who are not in public service industries such as restaurants and bars. The job board website Indeed says the number of vacancies increased in August, led by sectors such as information technology and finance, where many employees can work from home.
Walmart announced this week that it will be hiring 20,000 people to expand its supply chain and online shopping operations, including jobs for order fillers, drivers and managers. Amazon said Wednesday that it plans to fill 40,000 positions in the US, mostly technology and hourly positions.
And Fidelity Investments said Tuesday that it will create 9,000 more jobs, including in customer service and IT.