State’s job market takes hit from coronavirus, Whatcom expected to quickly rise

The Bellingham Herald

Hart Hodges is one of those bracing for a spike in job losses. Hodges, the co-director at the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington University, said after that spike, the timing for a bounce-back in the labor market will depend on testing for the virus and getting money to businesses.

On testing for the virus, Hodges believes people won’t start returning to restaurant dining rooms or gyms until there’s a reasonable certainty that people in those places don’t have coronavirus.

“Imagine, for example, if you knew everyone at a restaurant or getting on a plane had with them confirmation of a negative test result. You wouldn’t have any problem joining them,” Hodges said, adding that not testing would lead to heightened uncertainty and continued social distancing.

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Monday, March 23, 2020 - 2:43pm