The Indicator from Planet Money - More Job Growth, But Slower

The August unemployment numbers were better than expected. But doesn't mean the labor market is the picture of health.

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Hamilton station Kardashian, this is the indicator from Planet Money in today's jobs Friday. It's a we've been wondering if it's time to bring back an old celebratory tradition from jobs Fridays Pat. It's true the air horn the air horn. I know we stopped blowing the jobs. They are born when the pandemics truck because things were so awful. And so many people were losing their jobs. So the question now is I mean have the improved enough that we should resume at the tradition. Yes, or at least yes, if today released the jobs report for the month of August and it showed that the economy created 1.4 million new jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell from 10.2% to 8.4% That's the first time the unemployment rate has fallen below 10% out of double digits since a pandemic started so we can only say Stacy that the numbers are

Heading in the right direction. I mean that's a good argument for like a relative air horn, but there I mean there's this like huge downside as you know, I mean, first of all remember that a lot of the money that was supporting the economy for the big stimulus Bill started expiring at the end of July. It was right before the data for today's jobs report was collected. So the report might not get be capturing how that lost support will affect the labor market and also even though the labor market is improving the pace of that Improvement has actually slow down. The number of jobs created was smaller in August then in July and that is the second straight month. There has been a decline in the number of jobs created all true. I cannot argue with any of that things are definitely still not great. But I think I'm going to call anyway Stacy just cuz like we have missed their horns, you know, I don't know I have mixed feelings, but I'll give it to you. Maybe we can modify it a little like a relative softer than usual are on whatever to do is to your horns. Give us the air horn.

That sounds great. That was not that was cathartic are also excited about Ninja Squad 3 Economist. Nick bunker Martha Gimbel and Bing add jewelry who analyzed and break down the details of the job support every month. Like it's their job because in many ways you could say this their job their job for sure after a quick break Nick Martha in banga if you're going to share with us one big takeaway from today's jobs report and also Stacy as one of our three ninjas will remind us to jobs Friday happens to coincide with the birthday of a very important position and ammunition. Oh, yeah. It's going to send us off into the long Labor Day weekend.

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This message comes from NPR sponsor Microsoft. The world has changed and Microsoft teams is there to help us stay connected teams is the safe and secure way to chat meet call and collaborate to learn more visit teams. OK first up on a roster of jobs de ninjas is Nick bunker. Nick is an economist at the indeed hiring lab and highlights from today's jobs report. So the indicator that I want to focus on is the level of employment in August compared to what we saw back in February last month before the pandemic started devastating the US Labor Market. So even though the labor market has improved in recent months. Nick says we need to go back to February to see how much improvement it's still needs to make before it's back to where it was while we've had a few reports in a row now, we're adding millions of jobs. We're still down more than 11 million jobs that we saw back in February, so

Where is being made with whey Market still in a really big hole. There are still 7.6% fewer jobs now than they were in February and we can see how bad that is by comparing it to the damage that was caused by the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, which remember was itself an absolutely horrible recession that took years to recover from and back then at the absolute bottom of the labor market in that recession. Nick points out. There were only 6% fewer jobs than before the recession started. So the hit right now to labor market is still larger than the worst. During the Great Recession to go gamble who is senior manager of economic research at Schmidt Futures my indicator from this jobs report is 50% That is the percent decrease in employment that the motion picture and sound record.

Industry has experienced since February Martha analyze the employment situation in all the major economic Industries and the movie and music industry was the one with the most lingering damage from the pandemic in other industries that are also really struggling to bounce back to see what they all had in common performing arts and spectator sports Scenic and sightseeing transportation and accommodation. A lot of these industries fall into leisure activities or travel activities. And I think it's really important to emphasize that these are jobs that we all want to be there on the other side of this like, I don't know about you but at some point when this is over, I want to go see a movie I want to go to a play I want to take a trip Martha says a lot of times people are too dismissive of workers in the Arts. Maybe they should get trained for a new job or that they should switch careers this really bothers her a lot of those workers have

Praying for years and even the jobs they often take to support themselves as servers and bartenders for example have also been really hit hard by the pandemic whenever this is over we want those people to be doing those jobs again. And so it's not as simple to say well, they should all retrain and find you jobs, even if they could find new jobs. I also do want to point out the irony in all of us being dismissive about the real economic suffering that the Arts industry is going through right now while we're all stuck at home watching everything that Netflix can give us, you know, maybe we should be more grateful of you.

Promised us some kind of refuel here a musician who is celebrating a birthday today apparently and I guess the person who is going to give us this final surprise is Arthur jobs in ninja bang Advil, or he is a senior Economist at the center for American progress. I think tank and Beyonce's birthday and all about black women unemployment.

Liberate the birthday of Beyonce and on jobs day. What a great go into the bank says the reason he is looking at the unemployment rate for black women is it their struggles are especially indicative of what's happening to the labor market now and especially the struggles did a lot of parents are facing in juggling their work at the same time as watching their kids or taking care of elderly parents or relatives who are sick with Kobe be look at child care that because Child Care is not over because schools are not reopening that we have some sort of hybrid system. We're doing Virtual Reading that the burden the onus balls on women and especially black women who tend to be head of household in August. The unemployment rate for black women was still at an extremely high 12% that's higher than the 10.5% unemployment rate for Hispanic women and much higher than the 7.3% unemployment rate for white women. And even though the August jobs report seems like it was pretty good. Overall Bank was disappointed to see that the labor force participation rate for black women didn't

Increase as a what that says is that even though the economy's corporate covering that they are still out of the labor market because they have these other bird is each other only says that they have to take care of for the household. These racial gaps have been persistent thing. It says and it's important keep in mind these details within the jobs report whenever we look at the overall economic picture and not forget them. We want to wish Charlie Murphy restful and safe Labor Day weekend, and we asked banga for a Beyonce recommendation to close out the show Black Parade is setting up pretty uplifting. I like to listen to yes, please. Let's hear some Black Parade on the way out of the show.

Is episode of the indicator was produced by Autumn Barnes? In fact check by Britney Cronin our editors Patty Hearst in the indicator is a production of NPR.
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