Christmas could come early for Joe Biden

President BidenJoe Biden Democrats pressed panic button after Virginia Manchin collapse says he won’t vote to override Senate MP Carville blames ‘stupid awakening’ for Democratic losses MORE You will receive much needed good news soon.

The employment report, to be released on Friday, is likely to show sharp increases in employment for the month of October, giving the ailing White House a chance. After the beating that Biden and his fellow Democrats took on Election Night, they could use a booster shot, or two, or maybe even three.

My optimism is based both on the ADP job count better than expected published on Wednesday, which was lost amid the excitement over the election results, and in the number of unemployment claims released by the Department of Labor on Thursday.

ADP reported that the private sector added 571,000 jobs in October, beating the consensus forecast of 395,000 by one mile. The highest gains were in hotels, where 185,000 jobs were filled, professional and business services (88,000), commercial transportation and public services (78,000), and education and health services (56,000).

Employment gains in construction (54,000) and manufacturing (53,000) were also encouraging. In other words, almost general gains, but concentrated especially in the lowest paid service sectors.

Here’s why I read this as a good omen: the increase in hospitality jobs in both October and September (199,000) suggests that the delta variant is not the only problem holding back job growth. These are jobs that are considered more exposed to COVID-19 concerns. People do not eat out at restaurants or stay in hotels if they are nervous about contracting a deadly virus; people don’t want to work in those places either.

COVID-19 cases have been decreasing, but the virus has not disappeared. People are much more comfortable eating out, for example, than a year ago, but their level of caution hasn’t changed significantly in recent months.

We know it from follow-up by Morning Consult, which more recently showed that 70 percent of all adults in October were comfortable eating at a restaurant, one point less than on July 4, but slightly above the September level. But, in an indication of continued caution, there were a greater number of people who preferred to eat outside rather than inside. Bottom line: there aren’t many changes overall.

I conclude that the September-October rebound in hotel and restaurant hiring after several slow months reflects something else.

Most likely it reflects the end of incremental unemployment benefits that expired in early September and affected millions of Americans. Republicans have claimed for months that the additional weekly federal payments of $ 300 were stifling hiring by causing people to stay on the sidelines too easily. Many of us anticipated that once those payments stopped, hiring would accelerate. That would appear to be exactly what happened in October.

A excellent study by Stephen mooreStephen Moore Republicans have moral and financial reasons to oppose raising the debt ceiling Former Trump aides launch a campaign of millions against Biden’s economic agenda Families of 9/11 victims await answers on Saudi involvement in attacks MORE, Casey Mulligan and Erwin Antoni showed that “in the 25 states that continue to have unemployment benefits (UI), a family of four can currently receive the annual equivalent of more than $ 82,000 in income, while not working. In 19 states and DC, the amount is more than $ 100,000. In Massachusetts, it’s more than $ 147,000. “

Such payments, they argue, discourage work, and they are clearly right. Since during the pandemic people struggled to find childcare and were nervous about getting sick, many decided to stay home, which led to the the lowest level of worker participation since the 1970s.

Needless to say, it is not investment bankers or tech professionals or doctors who would be sidelined by additional unemployment benefits. It would be low-income Americans who work in fields like hospitality, where the average hourly wage for production and non-supervisory staff is $ 16.71, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The fact that there has been a spike in hiring in that field over the past two months, where, by the way, vacancies have been plentiful for some time, reinforces the argument that additional pay was a hindrance. Having to compete with the government’s generosity has led employers to increase the salary of hospitality workers by 7.6 percent over the past 12 months, a rise considerably above the national average. Undoubtedly, rising wages also helped attract workers.

The most recent jobless claims also bolster the case that hiring sped up last month. The Labor Department reported that new claims totaled 269,000 last week, the lowest level since the pandemic began and better than the consensus of 275,000. Continuing claims, of just over 2.1 million, hit a COVID-era low.

All of these numbers point to a better-than-expected October employment report, which may help curb the sinking in consumer confidence. Higher jobs could be the first volley in the war on inflation. There is no doubt that the shortage of truckers, meat packers, stevedores and all kinds of workers has driven up prices.

If more workers are actually getting off the couch and applying for jobs, that’s good news on all fronts.

This is especially good news for Joe Biden. The president has been affected by high inflation and slow hiring; in September, the United States added just 194,000 jobs. Shadows of Jimmy carterJimmy CarterPress: In the war between Catholics, Pope Francis sides with Biden Biden, the policies have been disastrous for US security, Kansas City’s economy plans a bid to host the next Republican National Convention PLUS-It was stagflation stalking the White House.

Estimates for hiring in October range from 525,000 (Goldman sachs) up to 650,000 (Nomura). I’m betting on the upper end of that range.

If I’m right, the media will quickly drop its concern over the Democrats’ lousy Election Day results and focus on the wonders of bidenomics. Most importantly, perhaps those hellish supply chain bottlenecks are starting to ease.

Christmas could come early for the Biden White House, and perhaps it will come for all Americans after all.

Liz Peek is a former partner at the major Wall Street firm Wertheim & Company. Follow her on Twitter @lizpeek.

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