Experts say it will be 2022 before local, state jobs recover to pre-pandemic levels

The national economy suffered its worst freefall last year since the end of World War II as the effects of a worldwide pandemic hit the nation’s business and industry.

While Washington and the Spokane area fared better, local economists predict the area’s reliance on service-sector jobs translates into an uncertain path to recovery.

U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP – the nation’s total output of goods and services – declined 3.5% last year, the government reported Thursday. That economic damage and the deep recession it triggered left tens of millions of Americans jobless.

While the economy, especially locally, rebounded somewhat last summer, it mostly stalled again as the virus

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