U.S. economy adds 531,000 jobs in huge hiring rebound

U.S. economy adds 531,000 jobs in huge hiring rebound

The job market added a stunning 531,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.6% — a new pandemic-era low.

Why it matters: America’s job market recovery has been on track all along.

Between the lines: Revisions to prior months are often overlooked. Not this month: Upgrades to both August and September were so enormous — fully 366,000 jobs higher than originally reported — that they have definitively reversed the narrative that there was a Delta-induced hiring slump in late summer.

By the numbers: America has now recovered 80% of the jobs lost at the depth of the recession in 2020.

The big picture: Leisure and hospitality added 164,000 jobs last month — but jobs growth was widespread. The disappointment — again — came in public sector education. State and local education shed a combined 65,000 jobs.

  • Wages are still rising: Average hourly earnings rose another 11 cents an hour in October, to $30.96. That’s enough to keep up with inflation.

What to watch: Millions of workers remain on the sidelines — and there wasn’t much improvement in pulling them back into the workforce.

The bottom line: “The Fall hiccup is now at best a Fall deep breath,” tweeted University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers.

How basic research leads to future job growth

https://www.axios.com/basic-science-research-fuels-job-growth-fcf7723b-b701-4ed2-8b2b-699d28dd1fbd.html

Illustration of a hand in a medical glove holding a beaker full of liquid

A new report out later today concludes that basic scientific research plays an essential role in creating companies that later produce thousands of jobs and billions in economic value.

Why it mattersThe report uses the pandemic — and especially the rapid development of new mRNA vaccines — to show how basic research funding from the government lays the necessary groundwork for economically valuable companies down the road.

By the numbers: The Science Coalition — a nonprofit group that represents 50 of the nation’s top private and public research universities — identified 53 companies that have spun off from federally funded university research.

  • Those companies — which range from pharmaceutical startups to agriculture firms — have contributed more than $1.3 billion to U.S. GDP between 2015 and 2019, while supporting the creation of more than 100,000 jobs.

What they’re saying: “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the need for the federal government to continue investing in fundamental research is far from theoretical,” says John Latini, president of the Science Coalition. “Consistent, sustained, robust federal funding is how science evolves.”

DetailsLatini praised the Biden administration’s first budget proposal to Congress, released last week, which includes what would be a $9 billion funding boost for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — the country’s single biggest science research funding agency.

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would see its budget rise to a record high of $6.9 billion, including $800 million reserved for climate research.

The catch: The Biden budget proposal is just that, and it will ultimately be up to Congress to decide how much to allocate to research agencies.

Context: Government research funding is vital because private money tends to go to applied research. But without basic research — the lifeblood of science — the U.S. risks missing out on potentially world-changing innovations in the future.

  • The long-term value of that funding can be seen in the story of Katalin Kariko, an obscure biomedical researcher who labored for years on mRNA with little reward — until the pandemic, when her work helped provide the foundation for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

The bottom line: Because its ultimate payoff might lay years in the future, it’s easy to see basic research funding as a waste — until the day comes when we need it.