WLVR interviewed Ahmed Rahman, associate professor of economics, for the article, "Local economist is cautiously optimistic about new unemployment data."
Newly released numbers from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor show the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.6% in July, reports WLVR.
Rahman says the data is a positive sign, but the pandemic is not yet over.
"The numbers suggest both good news and bad news. It’s nice to see that many jobs come back into leisure and hospitality because it means they were able to survive the storm. At least for now," he said. "But the labor force has shrunk. People have stopped looking for work."
Rahman is keeping an eye on the Delta variant and watching how the pandemic could continue to impact the economy.
"Obviously, the big wrinkle here is Delta," he said. "But, so long as that remains a wrinkle, I think things should look pretty good."
Rahman adds that if the economy needs to shut down again, the leisure and hospitality industry is the most vulnerable to job loss.
The full story can be read on the WLVR website.