'Oof': Economists React To September Jobs Report On Twitter
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 194,000 jobs in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.8%.
Most job gains in September were in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 74,000 jobs but saw little change in food services and drinking places. Employment in leisure and hospitality is still down by 1.6 million jobs compared to February 2020.
Employment in retail trade increased by 56,000 jobs in September despite losing 12,000 jobs in food and beverage stores. Retail trade employment is now 202,000 jobs lower than it was in February 2020.
Construction employment added 22,000 jobs in September but is still 201,000 jobs below its level in February 2020.
Here's how economists and others reacted to the September jobs report on Twitter:
Debating how many "o"s should be added to the word "oof" in this circumstance.— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) October 8, 2021
Oof. For example: Goldman Sachs was looking for 600,000 net new jobs, above the consensus of 500,000. https://t.co/glgrTq6pep— James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) October 8, 2021
194k was considered a great number by the (fake, bad) standards of the 2010s recovery.— Alan Cole (@AlanMCole) October 8, 2021
But it's not a great number. It's way too slow for what we need, and the COVID situation is largely to blame.
Slightly brighter news in the revisions: Last month's gains were revised from +235k to +366k. The previous month's gains were revised up by an additional +38k. So the prior two months were in total +169k better than we thought.— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) October 8, 2021
But this month is about 300k worse than we hoped.
Higher-wage industries are within 1% of pre-pandemic levels of employment. Lower-wage firms are still down 6.5% pic.twitter.com/3pGTJgV3kL— Nick Bunker (@nick_bunker) October 8, 2021
Construction employment rose by 22,000 in September, driven mostly by nonresidential specialty trade contractors. Avg hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees in construction are up 5.8% on a YoY basis in Sep- that's the highest growth since 1982. pic.twitter.com/3QSCLXMmq1— Odeta Kushi (@odetakushi) October 8, 2021
Don't want to make too much out of it, and the more important employment-to-population ratio went up, but pretty amazing that in the month expanded UI went away, labor force participation actually ticked down. pic.twitter.com/skSKXDkiaw— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) October 8, 2021
Job openings: 11.7m— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) October 8, 2021
The 1.5 openings per unemployed is the highest ever recorded
Nominal wage growth in September was faster than it was in the previous eight months and has been averaging the fastest in forty years.
This is a very tight labor market.
The economy is facing to two opposing forces. As expanded unemployment expires and schools open up, more people are going to be looking for work. However, the delta pandemic peaked in September and held job growth back.— Adam Ozimek (@ModeledBehavior) October 8, 2021
We lost a lot of teachers during the pandemic, but that's not the only problem. The seasonal factors expected hiring in September that didn't happen. So some of those job losses in September aren't losses so much as hires that didn't happen.— Betsey Stevenson (@BetseyStevenson) October 8, 2021
Public K-12 employment never fully recovered in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Austerity policy meant that education employment was lower in 2019 than it was in 2008, let alone enough to keep up with enrollment. Then the pandemic hit and the shortfall ballooned. pic.twitter.com/wN5OqQ7TjB— Elise Gould (@eliselgould) October 8, 2021
An 18k drop in health care employment is also rather curious.— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) October 8, 2021
#jobsday employment in child care up 17.8k in Sept, but still down 109k (10.4 percent) from pre-pandemic level— Dean Baker (@DeanBaker13) October 8, 2021
It's important to pause and take note how much the virus can still hold the recovery back. But looking forward, the outlook is much better and the pieces are in place for a strong fall and winter.— Adam Ozimek (@ModeledBehavior) October 8, 2021
- Education job losses were likely overstated due to SA, so jobs growth was weak but not as bad as topline suggests.— Daniel Zhao (@DanielBZhao) October 8, 2021
- There's a case for optimism in the coming months, assuming the pandemic continues to improve.#jobsreport #jobsday 17/17
In sum, labor market remains sick with virus, more than a third of working-age Americans & all children under 12 aren't fully vaccinated. This is the first order issue.— Aaron Sojourner (@aaronsojourner) October 8, 2021
There are signs of public health and economic strengthening since mid-Sept. Oct should be better.
If you want to kickstart the economic recovery, we've all got one simple job to do: Get vaccinated.— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) October 8, 2021
Even better, get your family vaccinated, encourage your friends to get vaccinated, and encourage or even mandate your workforce to get vaccinated.
Jabs => Safety => Jobs