'We've Flattened The Wrong Curve': Economists React To September Jobs Report On Twitter
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 661,000 jobs in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 7.9%.
The jobs numbers were released as many Americans were waking up to the news that President Donald Trump and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus, which the president announced on Twitter shortly before 1 a.m. ET Friday. News of the president's diagnosis caused U.S. stock futures to fall before the jobs report was released.
The jobs report did show the leisure and hospitality sector added 318,000 jobs in September, nearly two-thirds of which occurred in food services and drinking places. Employment in food services and drinking places is up 3.8 million jobs over the last five months but is still down 2.3 million jobs since February.
Construction employment increased by 26,000 jobs in September. Employment in the industry is still below its February employment level by 394,000 jobs.
Here's how economists and others reacted to the jobs report on Twitter.
The unemployment rate fell to 7.9% in September, with just 660k jobs added.— Elizabeth Pancotti (@ENPancotti) October 2, 2020
We’ve flattened the wrong curve. pic.twitter.com/9t9sfsiVXF
Last few payrolls numbers:— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) October 2, 2020
June: +4.8 million
See the trend. We're still 10.7 million jobs below February's level. If the recovery slows any further (and there are indications it is), we're in this slump for a long time.
In September, ***19.4 million*** people reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic—that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the last 4 weeks due to the pandemic.— Wendy Edelberg (@WendyEdelberg) October 2, 2020
Austan Goolsbee just compared this jobs report to a dead possum stuck in the wall on @SRuhle. At first it smells a little bit (like this report) but eventually it gets much worse. Good metaphor.— Charlie Anderson (@EconCharlie) October 2, 2020
Jobs growth came in at +661K in Sept, but the labor market is losing momentum. We're still 10.7 mil jobs short of Feb employment, & 12.1 mil short of our pre-COVID trajectory. At Sept's pace, it will take us 17 mon to get back to Feb emp, & 26 mon to get back to pre-COVID trend. pic.twitter.com/Kh4I4IfoaE— Ernie Tedeschi (@ernietedeschi) October 2, 2020
Erasing a generation of gains in workforce participation among women. https://t.co/EdxiIkQJez— Maeve Ward (@MaeveCHWard) October 2, 2020
Essentially no job gains in high work-from-home industries, like tech, finance, and professional services — still nearly 4% off pre-pandemic levels.— Jed Kolko (@JedKolko) October 2, 2020
That's a warning sign for the longer term. Those are sectors that didn't shut down and therefore won't get a quick rebound. pic.twitter.com/dIGNoTNwqo
This is still a services recession, as people remain wary of the virus risk and unwilling to do much in person. Leisure and hospitality is missing almost one fourth the jobs it had in Feb. Goods have done better construction, manufacturing, and retail closer to recovered.— Adam Ozimek (@ModeledBehavior) October 2, 2020
Some industries are surprisingly close to recovery (I'd put retail trade in the "surprising" camp. Leisure and hospitality still clobbered. pic.twitter.com/104SN7ValB— Martha Gimbel (@marthagimbel) October 2, 2020
Right now we are on track to end 2020 with 400,000 fewer people due to COVID deaths and 9.5 million fewer jobs.— Betsey Stevenson (@BetseyStevenson) October 2, 2020