We got the September jobs report on Friday but it was completely overshadowed by the announcement that President Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Peter talked about the ramifications of both in his podcast.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics seasonally adjusted number, the US economy added 661,000 new jobs last month. This was a significant miss from the well over 800,000 jobs economists were projecting. Still, the unemployment rate came in lower than expected, at 7.9%. That was a healthy drop from August’s 8.4%. That would seem like good news. But the drop in the unemployment rate was partly due to the number of people who just gave up. The labor participation rate fell from 61.7% in August to 61.4% in September.
Peter said it’s hard to know what to make to Trump’s positive COVID test. He said the thinks it’s a slight negative for his reelection chances, assuming he recovers with no problems.
The reason this might be a negative for the president is he’s got it. It puts the focus of the election with, what, just over 30 days to go, really back on COVID, which is not where the president necessarily wants it to be. And the accusation by the Democrats, right or wrong, is that he didn’t do a good job protecting the country from COVID. And obviously, he didn’t do a good job if he couldn’t even protect himself from COVID. You know, they’ve accused the president of not wearing a mask often enough. He’s made fun of Biden for how often he wears a mask, even in circumstances where you wouldn’t think a mask was required — he wears it anyway. Well, Trump is the one that got COVID. So far, Biden doesn’t have it. So, I think overall, that perception is negative.”