September Jobs Report Shows Everything Perfectly Fine
The US Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report for September today, and it's not great. While the economy added 661,000 jobs last month, September marked the third month in a row that the number of new jobs has declined, indicating that the recovery from the coronavirus shutdown is slowing down. The jobs report found that while some parts of the country are adding jobs, that's being offset by layoffs as businesses struggle (especially now that help through the CARES Act is largely used up).
And there's mixed news on the unemployment rate, too, as USA Today 'splains:
The unemployment rate fell to 7.9% from 8.4% in August, the Labor Department said Friday. But that's because the labor force — which includes people working and looking for jobs — shrank by about 700,000.
This will be the final jobs report before the presidential election; the October numbers won't be released until November 6. It's not exactly something Donald Trump can brag about, should there be any further presidential debates.
The September job gains are considerably weaker than in previous months, sharply down from the 1.5 million jobs added in August and 1.7 million jobs in July. The biggest burst of new jobs came in June, when 4.8 million jobs came back after states began opening up — without adequate measures to stop the new outbreaks of COVID-19 that will continue to drag down the economy until we get the pandemic under control. And while the economy has added back about 11.4 million jobs since things fell apart in late March, that's only about half of the jobs that have been lost in total. Here, a visual depiction from the New York Times, also, Jesus Christ.
Another reason for the slowdown in job growth, CNN points out, is that the July and August numbers had been goosed slightly by the hiring of as many as 238,000 temporary workers by the Census Bureau. With the Census winding down (early and corruptly, don't forget), the short-term boost in government jobs is gone, and the Census Bureau has shed 40,000 of those temps, with most of the rest to be let go in the coming months.
With the Cares Act stimulus largely disappearing (except for the Fed's generous help for the financial sector), and even the Great Man's shitty executive order stopgaps running out, you might think it would be a great time for a new stimmy bill, particularly since it might shore up support for Trump and his party's embattled incumbents, but nothing doing. House Democrats yesterday passed a pared down version of the HEROES Act that it passed in May, with $2.2 trillion of spending for emergency unemployment benefits, a new round of direct payments to most Americans, a new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for small business, rent and mortgage aid, money for COVID-19 testing, and aid to state and local governments, but Republicans are dead set against more stimulus spending. No help for Americans, even if some Republicans in tight races might benefit. Guess that face isn't gonna spite itself, so bye-bye nose!
And so Donald Trump goes into the election with the most job losses of any president since the Labor Department started tracking employment statistics in 1939. How he'll spin that as Barack Obama's fault remains to be seen.
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