Winters: Unemployment rates in 2022

January 4, 2022

John WintersJohn Winters, professor, was interviewed for a Jan. 4 WalletHub story, "2022's Best Cities for Jobs."

"The unemployment rate for 2022 will depend on COVID variants and policy responses, and there is much uncertainty in those. That said, the economy is currently quite strong and I expect that will likely continue through 2022. I think we will be close to the pre-pandemic unemployment rate of 3.5% by the end of 2022."

"Migration across state lines within the U.S. has been on a downward trend for a few decades now. There is some early evidence that during the pandemic people increasingly moved out of very large urban areas, possibly to avoid virus exposure, policy restrictions, congestion, and high housing prices. However, it is not clear if overall migration rates within the U.S. changed very much. It is especially difficult to predict how migration will respond as we try to return to some semblance of normal. Some geographic mobility is good for regional economies and the national economy because it exposes people to new ideas and new opportunities. One of the potential barriers to migration and opportunity is high housing prices in many urban areas. The best policy response for this is to allow and encourage more building. Increases in housing supply can keep prices from rising so fast and give opportunity for more people to live in areas with great opportunities for working and starting new businesses."

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