The Indicator from Planet Money - Jobs Friday: Not Bad, Not Not Bad

The US economy added more than 600,000 jobs in October. Team Indicator assembles the Jobs Friday Ninja squad to get their take.

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Hey mon, is Cardiff busy indicator from planet money? And I'm joined here today by editor Patty Hearst Patty. Hello. It's been below quite a week here in America Wide Awake movie The Longest Day. This is the lake the longest week that feels like a decade supposed to spend though is a corset has been democracy in action at this presidential election of dry drowning today, but don't let that obscure. The fact that today is important for another reason it is absolutely this morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the jobs report for the month of October. And actually there was some good news in the report the unemployment rate fell from 7.9% to 6.9% and the economy created 638000 jobs last month, but he still has a bite 10 million fewer jobs.

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Done before the pandemic hit and some Industries like restaurants and bars remain in just terrible shape. So there's still a long way to go before the labor market even just returns to where it was at the start of the Year point. And as we often do on jobs Friday, we have assembled a crew of three jobs day experts or jobs de ninjas as we like to call them and they are each can offer us a single indicator that they pulled from the jobs report that they think is especially interesting and important to understand right now and that is coming up after a quick break cuz I get free in Decatur Morgan.

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I'm going to go to shop. NPR. Org / Planet Money. What we've got for sale here is a t-shirt a sticker the patch room when we send a satellite to space bunch of Planet Money stuff for sale at shop. Npr.org Planet Money for all of the Planet Money lovers in your life. Ninja Squad crew is Nick bunker. Nick is the director of economic research for North America at the indeed hiring lab and here is the indicator that he is sharing from today's jobs report to the indicator. That is the percent change in employment in low-wage Industries since February. So right now in low-wage Industries employment is 11.4% lower than it was back in February. These are industries that pay on average about $18.50 an hour and is Nick says these industries have been hammered by the pandemic.

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The industries that have been hit hardest by the pandemic and continue to be most constrained by it to Sports Chalet hire low-wage workers. So think about restaurants that's an industry that devastated by the pandemic. It's still hard to see how important when I get back till February levels until we have this pandemic under control and Campbell also employ a lot of low-wage workers, but not many people are traveling. So jobs in hotels have disappeared and here is how a decline of 11.4% in the total jobs for the industry's Compares against industries that pay higher wages middleweight Industries employment. There is down 4.6% compared to February in for Fireweed Industries Bear Down 3.8% No words middle and higher wage Industries are feeling a lot more resilient to the job lost in the lowest weight Industries, okay.

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Stop from Jays roster of Labor Market experts is Heather long Heather is the economics correspondent at the Washington Post. And here's what she was zeroing in on in today's jobs report. I-80 dad on what is going on with women. This is still very much as she session is it's come to be known Heather notes that a lot of the jobs that disproportionately employ a high share of women were especially targeted by the pentamic this includes by the way, those restaurant jobs that we just talked about two-thirds of food servers are women and it also includes jobs in hotels in hair salons, for example, but things recently got even worse for women for another reason Heather says where things really diverged in the story is what happened in September when schools reopened except most of them. We're still virtual are hybrid. We saw 865000 women drop out of the labor force and most

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For moms moms of elementary school-age kids and you sat there in September and thought this is kind of a fluke but now we have the October data and it's not so great there either we did see some women come back in the labor force 480,000 but that's only just over half of those losses from September dropping out of the labor force because they have to stay at home with their kids while schools remain unopened. It is affected mother's a lot more than fathers and the updated numbers from today's jobs report. Heather says are really quite striking as of October six months into this recovery. There are 1.5 million fewer men in the labor force vs. January and 2.2 million fewer women the percent of women in the labor force today and October of 2020 was the same as 1980.

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So we've still wiped out Decades of progress for women in the labor force Heather worries at this is going to hurt the long-term trajectory for the careers of all these women who have had to fall out of the labor force because of course, they're not just without a job. Now. They've also been knocked off their career paths the ability to rise up the ranks are there companies get promoted get raises is hard to get those possibilities back and we know from studies that being out of the labor force for a year can really affect the long-term earnings of women and that hurts growth that hurts the economy that's less money that women are earning and that's less money that those families are spending and our final jobs writing expert is benga as he is a senior Economist at the center for American progress. And here is the indicator that he has pulled out of the jobs report. This might surprise a lot of people who know me, but my indicator is the unemployment rate for white men, which is 5.8% unemployment rate for white men.

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Has fallen from a peak of about 12 and a half percent back in April down to 5.8% And then he says the reason he singles out the unemployment rate for white men is precisely because it is so much lower than the unemployment rate for other groups for black man at 11.5% which is the lowest it has been during this pandemic for black women is 9.2% So this is the first month that they've dropped low double-digits and for Latinas, it's down to 9% also drop down low temperature sent. But again, will it can't almost double the rate of white men worries about is it the low unemployment rate for white men will lie policymakers to assume that the labor market is almost in fine shape and therefore they don't need to do any more to stimulate the economy and get people back to work at one of the things in my work is always try to focus on the labor market disparities. What's happening with African American men black women Latinas. I even try

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Do Asian Americans are people with disabilities and the numbers throughout this pandemic has shown that they are still in trouble that they are still struggling and I was very curious of why we don't see any policy. So then I turned it around and said well, let's look at what's happening with white men. And if you look at the indicated for white men and seeing that their numbers are actually pretty good relative to other groups to me that kind of explains why we haven't seen any sort of physical relief since March or April this year, but just like with the last jobs report before we left Bank ago. We asked him for a song recommendation a song that's appropriate to this moment so we can send our listeners into the weekend with it. Then it happens to be the one musician of our jobs day roster. He plays the bassoon and since the presidential election count in Georgia has continued all throughout the week here is the song recommendation that he gave us the song. I think that would be

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Appropriate is Gladys Knight & the Pips Midnight Train to Georgia and I just cuz of the presidential election, but because there's going to be two runoffs for the Georgia senate seat as I think a lot of us are going to be taking trains to George over the next two months editors Patty Hearst, and the indicator is a production of APR.
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