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Fishkind Conversations: Economic Recovery Is Slower Than It Looks

Hank Fishkind. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
Hank Fishkind. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Recent reports say the US unemployment rate fell to 8.4% in August and 1.4 million jobs were generated. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has banned evictions through December, and, locally, tourist development tax collections in Orange County have improved.

While this all sounds encouraging, economic analyst Dr. Hank Fishkind tells 90.7’s Nicole Darden Creston the recovery is very slow and getting slower.

Importantly, he says he’s troubled that the number of people unemployed for 15 weeks or longer is stagnant.

“This also indicates that many of the jobs these people formerly held are gone," says Fishkind.

"They’re not just on furlough, those jobs are gone. And this group totals over eight million people, who have probably permanently lost their jobs, and many of them here in Central Florida.”

Tourism Development Taxes for Orange County ticked up to $5.2 million in July, one sign that visitors are beginning to return to Central Florida. 

But Fishkind says numbers still aren’t rebounding to the level he was expecting. He was anticipating TDT revenues for July would be up to $10 million- about fifty percent below last year. 

“But the collections are 80 percent below last year. So what that means is that tourists are just not flocking back to the parks, and activity’s going to remain historically low.”

Click the Play Audio button to hear their conversation.

Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined WMFE in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from extraordinary hurricanes to historic space flights, from the people and procedures of Florida’s justice system to the changing face of the state’s economy.
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