'Drunken-Square-Root-Sign-Shaped Recovery': Economists React To July Jobs Report On Twitter
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.8 million jobs in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 10.2%.
"Among the unemployed, those who were jobless less than 5 weeks increased by 364,000 to 3.2 million in July, and the number of persons jobless 15 to 26 weeks rose by 4.6 million to 6.5 million," BLS wrote in its report.
Hiring slowed in July after two months of significant gains, indicating a recovery that is still happening, but stalling somewhat. Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 592,000 jobs in July, about one-third of the month's nonfarm employment gains. But jobs in food services and drinking places remains down by 2.6 million since February.
Retail trade jobs also grew, adding 258,000 jobs in July. But the industry still has 913,000 fewer jobs than it did in February.
The construction industry added 20,000 jobs in July after adding 619,000 jobs in May and June combined.
Here's how economists and others reacted to the jobs report on Twitter.
Today's jobs number brings the total number of jobs added in last three months to 9.279 million — after losing (-22.16 million) jobs in March and April.@CNBC— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) August 7, 2020
Employment is still 8% below its February level. 1.8 million jobs isn't V-shaped recovery speed. pic.twitter.com/bLYdATAkHa— Nick Bunker (@nick_bunker) August 7, 2020
Looks like the beginning of a drunken-square-root-sign-shaped recovery to me. pic.twitter.com/YbFB7T7faO— Jordan Bail-Out-the-Bars Weissmann (@JHWeissmann) August 7, 2020
This month suggests that the slowdown didn't turn negative, but it did seriously slow down. At this pace of job growth, by the end of 2020 we will still be 4 million jobs short. Around 1.5 million will be permanent, which are much slower to replace.— Adam Ozimek (@ModeledBehavior) August 7, 2020
Three summaries of today's jobs report that are all true:— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) August 7, 2020
1. The economy is bad.
2. The economy is recovering.
3. The recovery is stalling.
And all of this is so dramatic that it's a post-war record level of bad, a post-war record rate of recovery, and a post-war record stall.
The problem is that we are now so used to millions of people being unemployed that a 10-11 percent unemployment rate seems good. That was hair-on-fire do-something-now bad in the 2008 crisis because it should always be considered hair-on-fire do-something-now bad. https://t.co/2T0C9fWWMx— Betsey Stevenson (@BetseyStevenson) August 7, 2020
Finally, all of this happened in the face of extraordinary fiscal assistance over the past few months—assistance that has now ended.— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) August 7, 2020
The unemployment rate in leisure and hospitality is at 25% — that's down from a high of almost 40% but still an incomprehensible unemployment rate in that sector— Martha Gimbel (@marthagimbel) August 7, 2020
Also, within the public sector, there was a significant drop in US Postal Service employment, a loss of 5.4 thousand jobs in one month. https://t.co/x8DEfXeRXI— Elise Gould (@eliselgould) August 7, 2020
How much work is left to do? A lot. Not one sector of the economy is close to pre-virus levels. pic.twitter.com/B68j6JdLqJ— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) August 7, 2020
This recession continues to hit Black and Hispanic workers the hardest.— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) August 7, 2020
July unemployment rate for...
White men: 8.3%
White women: 9.6%
Black men: 15.2%
Black women: 13.5%
Hispanic men: 11.4%
Hispanic women: 14.0%
(Note these rates are for workers over age 20)
This is slowly morphing into a long term unemployment problem. Unemployed for 15+ weeks rose from 2.1 to 5.0 percent of the population. Most of those unemployed for 15-26 weeks. In a couple months, though, they’ll exhaust regular UI and be on extensions. Those need attention soon— Jay C. Shambaugh (@JayCShambaugh) August 7, 2020
Want to know how the economic recovery will proceed?— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) August 7, 2020
That's easy. It all depends on the virus.
Rapid suppression => Resume a rapid recovery.
Ongoing muddling => Tepid recovery.
Rising covid risks => The recovery ends.