October Jobs Report Out And Great News, Unless You Are Fox

The October jobs report is out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it's not just good employment news for October — 531,000 new non-farm jobs for the month — but also good news for August and September, which initially seemed to be really disappointing. The report was well ahead of economists' forecast of 450,000 new jobs, and the overall unemployment rate went down a bit, too, to 4.6 percent, from September's 4.8 percent.

The revised job numbers for August and September are almost a story in their own right, with August's original report of 366,000 new jobs revised upward to 483,000, and September's 194,000 adjusted upwards to 312,000. That's just a reminder that, as we've pointed out since the job numbers started cratering back in the spring of 2020, the sampling methods for the monthly jobs report work pretty well in normal economic times, but aren't very good when the economy is all crazy because of the pandemic.

The reason is that the BLS does its monthly job surveys during a single week of each month, to get a snapshot of the overall economy. Works fine when the economy is chugging along, not so great when there are large swings in employment due to the pandemic getting worse — as it did last year when the virus came roaring back after lockdowns ended, and as it has this year as the Delta outbreak has begun easing.

Speaking from the White House, President Joe Biden was understandably chuffed with the good news, but also noted that

There's a lot more to be done. We still have to tackle the costs that American families are facing. But this recovery is faster, stronger and fairer and wider than almost anyone would have predicted

Like for instance, what is he going to do about the 40 percent increase in "milk prices" for ordinary families with nine kids that CNN didn't bother fact checking yesterday? Here, have some video, you!


Biden also pointed out, as he has previously, that prior to the passage of the American Rescue Plan stimulus at the start of his term, "forecasters said it would take until the end of 2023 to get to the 4.6 unemployment rate. Today we've reached that rate two years before forecasters thought it was possible."

So you bet, Biden's pleased with where job growth is now.

The continuing improvement in vaccination rates — 77 percent of eligible Americans have had at least one shot — is one reason for the improving jobs outlook, and Biden also touted this week's approval of the Pfizer vaccine for kids aged five to 11, which will make schools safer and also help family budgets since children who become magnetic after being vaccinated can help pick up loose change from sofa cushions. (No, do not complain in the comments that US coins don't react to magnets.)

There are a lot of other statistics that matter a great deal, like how hiring was up in the hospitality and leisure sector, along with manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing, too. But what really matters is that Fox News mentioned the positive jobs report briefly, then immediately shifted to a story about "Biden's Border Crisis."

Also, the Fox News front page mentions the good jobs news, but tempers it with a complaint about the cost of Build Back Better, followed by two stories about "Let's go Brandon":

So we guess that's a form of stability in its own weird way, too.

[US Bureau of Labor Statistics / CNBC / CNN]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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