Analysts on CNBC’s Squawk Box assessed September’s abysmal jobs report on Friday, calling the net gain of 235,000 jobs — a third of the anticipated 720,000 — “terrible news” for the economy.
“The market not selling off a ton of this, but this is terrible news for what it means for the real economy,” host Becky Quick noted.
“You can drive a truck of about half a million workers through that gap,” Steve Liesman replied. He said education had represented a “big miss” for forecasters who expected a “huge influx of workers.”
Private education gained 40,000 jobs for the month, but state and local education lost 27,000 jobs. Retail lost another 29,000. Transportation and warehousing added 53,000 jobs, while manufacturing added 37,000. Labor force participation stood at 61.7 percent, nearly two points lower than in February 2020, a month before pandemic-related shutdowns, when it was 63.3 percent.
The report indicated that unemployment persisted despite rising wages, which rose 4.3 percent year-over-year, and 0.6 percent for the month.
“There is some expectation that we will be hiring,” Liesman said. “It doesn’t appear to have been caught up, or maybe it was papered over by the seasonal adjustments. So I don’t think it’s wrong to think that the miss is not as bad as it seems from the headline, but it’s still a miss. It still suggests we had, clearly, a Delta variant effect in this number here.”
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