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On The Money: Economy adds 661K jobs in final report before Election Day | House approves $2.2T COVID-19 relief bill as White House talks stall | Stand-alone bill to provide relief for airlines blocked on House floor

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THE BIG DEAL—Economy adds 661K jobs in final jobs report before Election Day: The U.S. gained 661,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department reported Friday in the final jobs report before Election Day.

The unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in September as the U.S. posted its fifth consecutive month of job gains after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic triggered the deepest and quickest economic contraction since the Great Depression.

The report, however, came in well below the projections of economists and contained several red flags about the strength of the recovery from the coronavirus recession.

  • September marked the fourth consecutive month of declining job gains after additions of 4.7 million in June, 1.7 million in July and 1.5 million in August, according to revised figures released Friday.
  • Economists had expected the U.S. to gain roughly 800,000 jobs in September to push the unemployment rate down to roughly 8.2 percent from 8.4 percent in August. 
  • While the jobless rate fell below that level, the labor force participation rate — the percentage of potential workers seeking jobs — fell 0.3 percent, indicating declining confidence in the ability to find work.
  • Permanent job losses also increased for the second consecutive month, rising by 345,000 to 3.8 million, as the number of temporary layoffs declined by 1.5 million.

I break down the report here.

LEADING THE DAY

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House approves $2.2T COVID-19 relief bill as White House talks stall: House Democrats on Thursday approved a massive, $2.2 trillion package of coronavirus relief, lending political cover to party centrists in tough races while putting fresh pressure on Senate Republicans to move another round of emergency aid before the coming elections.

The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong take us to the House floor.

Stand-alone bill to provide relief for airlines blocked on House floor: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio

Peter Anthony DeFazioOn The Money: Economy adds 661K jobs in final report before Election Day | House approves .2T COVID-19 relief bill as White House talks stall | Stand-alone bill to provide relief for airlines blocked on House floor Stand-alone bill to provide relief for airlines blocked on House floor Pelosi calls on airlines to hold off on furloughs, says agreement on relief is imminent MORE (D-Ore.) attempted to pass a stand-alone bill that would give relief to airlines on the House floor Friday.

The attempt was unsuccessful after the Oregon congressman was denied a request for unanimous consent, which would preclude the need for members to participate in a recorded vote. His bill would extend the airline Payroll Support Program (PSP) by six months.

“The Republican minority killed this legislation, plain and simple. If they had just agreed, tens of thousands of workers for the airlines — flight attendants, they don’t get paid a heck of a lot of money, pilots, yeah they do well, mechanics, gate agents — tens of thousands of those people have been furlough as of yesterday,” DeFazio said on the House floor. 

The Hill’s Alex Gangitano has more here.

Read more: Pelosi calls on airlines to hold off on furloughs, says agreement on relief is imminent

GOOD TO KNOW

  • The Treasury Department on Thursday issued two adversaries highlighting the dangers of ransomware cyberattacks, and warning against paying ransoms demanded by hackers. 
  • Lawmakers are stepping up their push to have the Trump administration make the president’s payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers and members of the military.
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