Strong jobs gains and falling unemployment point to progress in the U.S. economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
In June, the country added 850,000 jobs, more than expected, and is now 7.13 million below the February 2020 level. And by the end of June, weekly jobless claims slumped to 364,000, a coronavirus pandemic low, according to data from the Labor Department.
“More jobs, better wages — that’s a good combination,” President Joe Biden said Friday of the June jobs report. “Put simply, our economy is on the move, and we have Covid-19 on the run.”
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Yet for many people, the damage will linger for many years as they look to reenter the workforce and pay off debt they might have accrued during the last year and a half.
Even those who didn’t lose a job due to Covid may need to revisit their finances as prices have risen and spending habits may have shifted.
Here’s what experts recommend people focus on to get back on track.
1. Rebuild emergency savings
The pandemic took the nation by surprise and showed many Americans just how unprepared they were to withstand an emergency. Now, as the U.S. rebuilds the economy and more people are going back to work, improving emergency savings should be top of mind.
“The best financial practices pertain through bad times and good,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate. “We’d strongly counsel to make emergency savings a priority.”
A rule of thumb followed by many financial experts is that people should have three months to six months of living expenses in an emergency savings fund. But 13 months into a pandemic that’s left millions unemployed, people may be rethinking their savings goals.
If you took on $25,000 of debt, you can’t manage your finances like you don’t have $25,000 of debt to pay off.
CFP and coach at SaverLife
“That should make people think a second time about using the rule of thumb, and actually think of their own specific situation,” said Dana Menard, a certified financial planner and founder and CEO of Twin Cities Wealth Strategies in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
“There were people making $200,000 a year standing in food lines,” said personal finance expert Suze Orman during a June CNBC + Acorns Invest in Pride: Ready. Set. Grow event. “So you have got to put yourself …….