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Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added more jobs than expected last month — 638,000 — marking the sixth month of consecutive declines in the unemployment rate, but there are still 10 million fewer jobs filled than there were in February.

What they're saying: "The combination of elevated unemployment and part-time employment and low participation all point to significant slack in the labor market," economists at Jefferies write in a note to clients.

  • Additionally, they note, "permanent layoffs now exceed temporary layoffs for the first time since the start of the pandemic, which points to slower job growth ahead."
  • The Fed noted in its policy statement Thursday, “Economic activity and employment have continued to recover but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year.”

Keep it 💯: "Payroll growth is nothing like strong enough to recover the lost ground, despite the October beat," Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson writes. 

  • "And the omens for November are grim, as rampaging Covid scares people into staying home."
  • "The chance of a lame-duck stimulus bill is rising, but it won't be big enough; more will be needed in Q1."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.