The American economy is still in dire straits

The August jobs report was published Friday morning, and the news is both good and bad. On the plus side, the headline unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent. Something like half of the job losses created by the coronavirus pandemic have been recovered. On the negative side, just 1.4 million jobs were created, and a big chunk of them were temporary census work. The number of permanent job losses jumped sharply, and for odd reasons the stock market is falling. More broadly, it has been a month since most of the coronavirus rescue measures expired, putting an extra drag on recovery.


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