Some economists believe that while remittance outflows might have decreased among immigrants more vulnerable to the economic downturn, they probably increased among immigrants that have a steadier source of income.

Dany Bahar

Dany Bahar, economist and senior fellow at Brookings Institution, retweeted an article on remittances and how economists failed to predict this during Covid-19. Remittances, the flow of capital from immigrants to family and friends back home, is a crucial source of income for many countries. This accounts for 20% of the GDP in nations such as El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Tonga, and Tajikistan among others.

Bahar explains why global remittance levels stayed high during the Covid-19 pandemic despite economists’ predictions that it would fall precipitously, caused largely due to many immigrants working in the hard-hit service industries. In 2019, global flow of remittances reached an unprecedented level of approximately $550bn, while it reached $540bn in 2020.

While remittance inflows into the Caribbean and Latin America actually grew by about 6.5% in 2020, they dropped in other regions, including Europe, Central Asia, East Asia, and the sub-Saharan Africa, defying all expectations. Instead, remittances were found to be and expected to continue to be an extremely resilient flow.

Dean Baker

Dean Baker, macroeconomist and co-founder with Mark Weisbrot of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., retweeted an article on labour shortage not being the real problem but wage and benefits being the real problem as the US economy awakens to a post Covid job market.

Economists and businesses believe that the post Covid job market is shape shifting in ways they haven’t witnessed before, with the transition in California being particularly patchy. As a result, gym franchise owners are struggling to fill  a competitive trainer job, while others are straining to encourage people back to work.

Job seekers are ignoring positions they once jumped at, while employers are struggling to hire and identify whether the difficulties are temporary or more long-lasting. Many employers state that they are being ghosted by job candidates, and are even considering raising their above-minimum hourly wage.

Adam Tooze

Adam Tooze, a professor at Columbia University and director of the European Institute, shared an article on how much of the public debate over Covid-19 has echoed Andrew Cuomo’s, the governor of New York state’s refusal to think through the uncomfortable calculus between saving lives and the economy.

Experts believe that the two sides of the lockdown debate hold diametrically opposed and equally unconvincing positions. Both also reject the trade-off between lives and livelihoods. For instance, those who support lockdowns state that they have had few damaging economic effects, as people avoided public spaces without the need to be told.

They therefore believe that a policy that saves lives is more important, and it cannot be blamed for wrecking the economy. Those who despise lockdowns, on the other hand, state that it has destroyed livelihoods and has done little to curb the virus spread.