‘WOW … Whoa!’ Shock over ‘real low’ jobs report slips out on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’

The hosts of CNBC’s Squawk Box were visibly rattled and shaken on Friday when the September’s jobs report came out and was less than half of what it was projected to be.

Host Steve Liesman could not believe what he was seeing as he read the report and commented, “Wow… 194.”

“Whoa!” another host Becky Quick interjected.

“I see 194,000? That is real low,” Liesman remarked not looking up. “Let me go to the jobless rate — wow, big decline, 4.8 percent, 5.1 was expected. Let me … see if I can find where the jobs were, and I think in this case, where the jobs weren’t.”

(Video Credit: CNBC Television)

The Dow Jones estimate had projected 500,000 new jobs would be created in September. That’s over 300,000 more than what was actually reported by the Labor Department. Private payrolls increased by 317,000. But notably, government payrolls dropped by 123,000. That fact left the CNBC folks scratching their heads in puzzlement.

The purported jobless rate went down. But that rate excludes those who hold part-time jobs and can’t find full-time work. It also leaves out “discouraged workers” who have given up and quit looking for work. The number was reportedly 8.5 percent with those groups thrown in the mix.

Once again, economists are blaming the pandemic for the numbers. They are pointing to education where employment tanked by 144,000 among local governments and by 17,000 among state governments.

“The shortfall may be related to recent reports of difficulty in hiring for certain positions such as bus drivers, food service workers, or substitute teachers, often lower-wage and part-time positions filled by many older workers who may be more concerned about infection,” the Economic Policy Institute’s Elise Gould concluded on Twitter.

“With a small increase of 74,000 jobs in September after a weaker August — again likely the result of the surge in the Delta variant at the end of the summer — leisure and hospitality has a jobs shortfall of nearly 1.6 million since February 2020. We are still in a pandemic!” Gould said according to CNBC.

“This is quite a deflating report,” commented Nick Bunker, who is the economic research director at job placement site Indeed, according to 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.”

Not taken into account is the fact that people are still allegedly being incentivized to stay home and not work by the Biden administration.

“It was definitely a weaker number than expected,” Liesman remarked. “Nothing really going on in leisure and hospitality. Declines in nursing. Where else do we have any declines? Not really any big declines here, just not, Becky, the numbers that you need to put people back to work right now. September now coming in weaker than August … and I think that’s the big story here.”

CNBC was shocked in September as well at August’s jobless numbers which also fell short of expectations. The economy added 235,000 jobs which was only a third of the projected 720,000 jobs that were anticipated. Leisman called the number a “big miss” for forecasters at the time.

Public schools usually boost the September jobs report as districts around the country hire teachers, bus drivers, administrators, and other staff back for the start of the fall session. But that was not the case this year.

“Most back-to-school hiring typically occurs in September. Hiring this September was lower than usual, resulting in a decline after seasonal adjustment,” the Labor Department stated in a release. “Recent employment changes are challenging to interpret, as pandemic-related staffing fluctuations in public and private education have distorted the normal seasonal hiring and layoff patterns.”

Americans are not fooled as Biden and the White House spin the jobless numbers:


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