Trend watch and what’s new this week
U.S. virus trends in terms of new cases and the number of hospitalizations appear to be stabilizing nationally (slide 3). Meanwhile, there are several signs that the current wave is peaking, including cases (slide 7) and hospitalization rates (slide 8) in hotspot states.
However, the death rate is climbing, though is considerably below the prior wave (slide 3). Additionally, with schools restarting, we’re growing concerned that children under age 12 are both increasingly getting infected and being hospitalized. While not huge numbers, and COVID-19 deaths for this age group are rare, this is problematic insofar as the supply of critical care beds for children is rather limited in the U.S.
The pace of U.S. vaccinations continues to climb, topping 900,000 per day for the first time since early July (slide 5). Over 60% of Americans older than 12 are fully vaccinated and more than 70% have gotten at least one dose.
This week, we revisit vaccine hesitancy (slide 9). In addition to the vaccination pace increasing, it appears that overall vaccine hesitancy has dwindled. Yet, the remaining unvaccinated appear quite adamant.
Also, we highlight new office data (slide 10). It shows roughly a third of workers are back in the office with wide disparities regionally and by industry.
Lastly, two recent work surveys show that office workers want flexibility, but also don’t want to completely ditch offices (slide 11). These considerations certainly complicate decisions regarding commercial real estate, while also reinforcing the reasons many companies view offices as a critical part of their operations.
The August employment data released earlier today showed job growth stepped lower due to a confluence of factors, including seasonality and the delta variant. However, most of the traditional economic data remains quite strong, including consumer spending, housing figures, as well as several gauges of services and manufacturing.
The recovery continues to plow forward, though it remains uneven depending on the region and industry. Indeed, as the delta variant demonstrated, COVID-19 is not fully behind us. However, the world is getting much better at managing COVID-19. More importantly, further COVID-19 variants and related outbreaks have not shutdown the global economy nor will they derail the recovery.
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