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As the nation continues to be consumed with the election—which Joe Biden appears poised to win—millions of people across the country remain out of work. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 638,000 jobs were added in October, a continued slowdown in job growth. The U.S. economy is still down 10 million jobs from where it was in February, before the pandemic hit. Using average monthly job growth over the year ending February 2020 as the counterfactual, the jobs deficit is over 11.6 million. In other words, that’s 10.0 million fewer jobs we have than in February, plus nearly 1.6 million jobs we would have added if the recession hadn’t occurred.

Even without the 147,000 loss in temporary Census employment in October, the economy added only 785,000 jobs. At this pace, it will take years for the U.S. economy to fully recover. With long-term unemployment on the rise and little hope for additional relief, workers and their families do not have years to keep their heads above water. As the winter approaches and COVID-19 cases continue to rise, millions of people across the country will be left out in the cold. Unlike his predecessor, the incoming Biden administration will inherit a devastated labor market that will need considerable relief and stimulus—quickly.

Key numbers from today’s report:

Policymakers cannot ignore the economic devastation happening to workers and their families across the country. The hopes of a quick recovery have long since been dashed, but swift action can lessen the continued hardship faced.

Citations

[1] Decision Desk HQ on Twitter: "Decision Desk HQ projects that @JoeBiden has won Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral college votes for a total of 273. Joe Biden has been elected the 46th President of the United States of America. Race called at 11-06 08:50 AM EST All Results: https://t.co/BgcQsEyt3j" ➤ https://twitter.com/decisiondeskhq/status/1324710866516905984?s=21[2] What to watch on jobs day: Slow closing of the massive jobs deficit | Economic Policy Institute ➤ https://www.epi.org/blog/what-to-watch-on-jobs-day-slow-closing-of-the-massive-jobs-deficit/[3] The first big gash of austerity: The cutback to the $600 boost to unemployment benefits reduced personal income by $667 billion (annualized) in August | Economic Policy Institute ➤ https://www.epi.org/blog/the-first-big-gash-of-austerity-the-cutback-to-the-600-boost-to-unemployment-benefits-reduced-personal-income-by-667-billion-annualized-in-august/