Fed's Harker says he expects 'sharp recession' in 2020 with growth next year

(Reuters) - The U.S. economy could begin to recover from a sharp recession next year as the labor market recovers, but it may take time for the economy to return to the levels seen earlier this year, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said Tuesday.

Harker said he expects “2021 will be a growth year, with GDP and employment picking up,” according to remarks prepared for a virtual event organized by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

But he cautioned that the economic pain could linger, adding that the growth seen next year may not be “enough to return the economy to where it was at the beginning of this year.”

Even as the economy rebounds, some Americans could face long spells of unemployment, Harker said.

“Some of the jobs that have been lost because of the COVID-19 crisis may never return,” he said.

Reporting by Jonnelle Marte; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama