5 October 2020

1) Economic watchers were disappointed with the job reports for last month, with just 661,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate down to 7.9% from 8.4% in August. But this is because the labor force shrank by about 700,000. The job report is the last before the November elections and it shows a slowing recovery, thereby raising the specter of a gap that could take several years to close. The Nation has recovered a little over half the 22.1 million jobs lost at the start of the virus crisis. The job numbers fell short of the economic forecast of 850,000 new jobs and was the first month since April with a net job growth dropping below 1 million. September is the seventh month of the pandemic and the resulting crisis in American labor.
2) Some good news for California and its plague of wild fires- two of the largest fires are now fully contained. But still, several others threaten life and property, with weather forecast into next week not providing much hope from the threat of fires. The heat is expected to continue in Southern California with strong winds and dry conditions making for elevated fire conditions. The two, now contained wild fires, have burned for more than six weeks charring an area about the size of Rhode Island. Mega fires have become the norm in California with today 10 fires that are 100,000 acres plus in size and one that is over 850,000 acres. Northen California, with its wine country, continues to struggle with large fires, with the Glass Fire in Napa County being only about 5% contained and the Zogg Fire in Shasta County at 26% contained. All of California is fighting 24 major fires burning in California.
3) There is growing evidence that nearly 4 million American jobs have vanished forever because of the pandemic. This means that many initially lost jobs, which were hoped to be furloughs or temporary job losses, are becoming permanent as businesses shut down and cut costs. Technology displacement plays a major part in permanently shedding jobs by allowing combining job functions or outright replacement of people with machines. Each week, more companies announce thousands of layoffs as they struggle to survive in an ever changing business world and hostile economic environment. Those able to integrate technology and AI (Artificial Intelligence) into their operations are the ones most likely to survive, and that translates into permanently lost jobs.
4) Stock market closings for – 2 OCT 20:
Dow 27,682.81 down 134.09
Nasdaq 11,075.02 down 251.49
S&P 500 3,348.44 down 32.36
10 Year Yield: up at 0.70%
Oil: down at $37.01

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