Ahead of the release of Friday’s jobs report, the general expectation was a net gain of roughly 500,000 jobs in September.
The actual numbers fell short of that — by a lot.
The economy gained a net of 194,000 jobs last month, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics news release. The unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from the month prior.
“This is quite a deflating report,” Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed, a job placement site, told CNBC.
“This year has been one of false dawns for the labor market. Demand for workers is strong and millions of people want to return to work, but employment growth has yet to find its footing,” Bunker added.
Amid the aftershocks of the disappointing jobs report, President Joe Biden’s approval rating was at just 44.7 percent Sunday, according to an aggregate of polls calculated by the statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight, compared to a 49 percent disapproval rating.
Speaking to reporters Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for Biden’s sagging approval numbers.
“We’re still battling COVID, and a lot of people thought we’d be through it, including us,” she said, according to Yahoo News.
“And because of the rise of the delta variant, because of the fact that even though it was a vaccine approved under a Republican administration, even though we now have full FDA approval, and even though it’s widely available across the country, we still have … 20 percent of the country who have decided not to get vaccinated.”
Whatever the reason for the low approval ratings, one thing is clear, according to the Washington Examiner: The economy is being badly mismanaged.
“Dealt a sharp blow by the coronavirus, the job market was already on its way back when Biden was sworn into office,” read a Saturday editorial from the outlet.
“It seemed only a matter of time before the economy would recover to its red-hot pre-pandemic state. All Biden had to do was coast and watch it happen,” the editorial added. “Instead, he blew it.”
The economy is “stuck in the mud,” the Examiner said.
“For yet another month, U.S. employment growth under Biden has badly underperformed expectations. The September jobs numbers released on Friday — 194,000 net additional jobs, well short of the expected 500,000 — point to an economy stuck in the mud,” according to the editorial.
“The continued sluggish recovery comes amid an inflation problem that Biden caused and wants to make even worse with a wholly inappropriate and unnecessary $5 trillion expenditure,” it added.
“[I]n general, and in most cases, a shrinking labor force indicates an economy that is being mismanaged by an incompetent president with rightfully sinking numbers and a major truth-telling problem.”