By Kimberly Adams

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office predicts gross domestic product could return to pre-pandemic levels as early as mid-2021, even without additional federal aid.

The CBO said the labor market will take longer to reach its pre-pandemic size — probably not until 2024.

But let’s examine that baseline concept: the idea of getting back to the “pre-pandemic” economy. Even if the numbers return to where they once were, the economy is probably going to look very different.

Even though gross domestic product can kind of be a shorthand for how an economy is doing, “GDP growth does not translate into equal growth of earnings and employment,” said Ariane Hegewisch, with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

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