The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.3%. Economists were expecting 180,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.3%. Three takeaways:

  • Job growth for the first seven months of 2017 has averaged 167,000, slightly below the 2016 trend at this point last year of 184,00. Still, "employment growth remains strong enough to keep the unemployment trending down," 'High Frequency Economist' Jim O'Sullivan writes in a note to clients.
  • Wage growth grew slightly, but according to University of Michigan's Justin Wolfers, "not enough to generate any threat to the Fed's inflation target." The Fed will likely take this report as a cue to refrain from interest rate hikes.
  • The share of the unemployed who have been jobless for 27 weeks of more rose for the second straight month. The share of working-age Americans in the labor force was flat, suggesting the current healthy clip of jobs growth is not benefitting those at the labor market's outer edges.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.