With COVID still spreading across the U.S. hindering many efforts to reopen the economy the September job numbers are still very important. You can see that they are improving but that improvement is slowing. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 661,000, and while that number is good, the expectation was for 800,000, and the month before it was 1.489 million. Of course, as we all get back to work the numbers will rise so it is the unemployment rate that is a concern. That came in at better than expected 7.9% from 8.4% the month before and an expectation of it falling to 8.2%.
As a reminder, we were in the 3-4% area pre-COVID. That was excellent with records being set for all groups of Americans. It will take time and effort to return to that low level. Unfortunately, it is also going to take more debt as many industries continue to suffer. The airline industry announced major layoffs this week as an example.