Jun 6, 2020

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

🇺🇸 Good Saturday morning. It's the 76th anniversary of D-Day, when allied troops stormed Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, and turned World War II against the Nazis.

  • 🇧🇷 Situational awareness: Brazil passed Italy as the country with the third highest coronavirus death toll after the U.S. and U.K.
1 big thing ... Humility for forecasters: Jobs shocker is record miss
Graphic: AP

Economists were projecting that May's jobs figures would show a loss of 8 million jobs and an unemployment rate approaching 20% — Great Depression territory.

  • Instead, a record 2.5 million workers were added, and unemployment fell to 13.3% from April's post-World War II high of 14.7%.
  • Wall Street loved it: The Dow and S&P enjoyed the best week in two months; the NASDAQ 100 set a record. (CNBC)

This was the biggest-ever Jobs Day whiff by forecasters:

  • Before yesterday, Bloomberg News reports, "the biggest single-month miss on the payrolls report was 318,000 in February 2003, according to Bloomberg survey data going back to 1996."

How it happened: Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, told Bloomberg that this economic downturn — sharp and swift due to the shutdown — is "a very, very different animal" than other downturns.

  • Forecasters "have to remain humble in the face of all the tremendous uncertainty," Daco said.

Reality check: Uncertainty about the data and the nation's real economy has led to fears that the stunning report was a head fake.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics said in yesterday's fine print that a "misclassification error" by surveyors means the actual unemployment rate could have been "about 3 percentage points higher than reported," not seasonally adjusted. (Go deeper.)

Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York, told Reuters: "It took years for the economy to grow enough to find jobs for those unemployed in the last recession, and it will take years again this time to do the same."

2. Trump's week of viral quicksand
Data: NewsWhip. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis' statement to The Atlantic describing President Trump as a threat to the Constitution generated 6.26 million interactions (likes, comments, shares) on social media — more than any other single item about Trump all week, Neal Rothschild writes from NewsWhip data.

  • Mattis' statement was endorsed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Trump's former chief of staff John Kelly said: "'We need to look harder at who we elect."
  • The evisceration of Trump by Episcopal bishop Mariann Budde following the photo op at St. John's Church generated more interactions (1.99 million) than any other piece in that storyline.

The most total interactions (likes, comments, shares) were generated after Twitter placed a warning label on Trump's "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" tweet, according to NewsWhip data.

  • That's largely due to the volume of stories on the topic. There were 7x as many items written about Trump and Twitter and other social media platforms as there were about the stroll to St. John's.

Share this graphic.

3. 🥊 Remote learning flunked
In Brighton, Mass., Jose Escobar holds a laptop his school gave him for remote learning. Photo: Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

With the school year winding down, the grade from students, teachers, parents and administrators is in for America's involuntary crash course on remote learning: It was a failure, The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription):

  • "There were students with no computers or internet access. Teachers had no experience with remote learning. And many parents weren’t available to help."

"In many places, lots of students simply didn’t show up online, and administrators had no good way to find out why not," The Journal writes.

  • "Soon many districts weren’t requiring students to do any work at all, increasing the risk that millions of students would have big gaps in their learning."

Go deeper: The income inequities of school-from-home.3

4. Pics du jour
Photo: Khalid Naji-Allah/Executive Office of the Mayor via AP

D.C. capped nearly a week of demonstrations against police brutality by painting the words Black Lives Matter in enormous, bright yellow letters on two blocks leading to the White House, a highly visible display of the local government's embrace of protests that has put it further at odds with President Trump.AP

Mayor Muriel Bowser stands on the roof of the Hay Adams Hotel. Photo: Executive Office of the Mayor/Khalid Naji-Allah via AP

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser — who renamed as Black Lives Matter Plaza the area where federal forces used chemical spray and smoke grenades to clear protesters ahead of Trump’s photo op — quoted in a front-page N.Y. Times article, "At Trump's Doorstep, a Mayor Fights for Control of Her City" (subscription):

  • "We’re here peacefully as Americans on American streets. On D.C. streets."
Rukiya Ahmed and Yoreanos Alemu protest the death of George Floyd. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
5. 📣 March on Washington is Aug. 28

The Rev. Al Sharpton says the D.C. march he announced this week will be Aug. 28, the 57th anniversary of the date in 1963 that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.

  • Sharpton told AP that August "gives you a push into November, not in a partisan way, in a protecting the vote, because we’ve got to educate people on mail-in voting."
6. NFL: "We were wrong"
Via Twitter

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a Twitter video last evening that the league was "wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest."

  • "We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people," Goodell said.
  • "I personally protest with you, and want to be part of a much needed change in this country. Without black players, there would be no NFL."

Watch the 81-second video.

7. 🗳️ Biden clinches
Joe Biden arrives yesterday at an event in Dover, Del. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

After primaries and caucuses in 42 states and D.C., mail ballots from Tuesday put Joe Biden over the top in the race for the Democratic nomination. It takes 1,991 delegates to win and Biden has 1,995, according to AP's tracker.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders has 1,042. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is third with 63.
8. Twitter's big day
Courtesy Barron's

On Wednesday, "Twitter’s mobile app was downloaded 677,000 times across the world, the company’s best-ever one-day performance, according to app tracker Apptopia," Barron's reports in a cover story out today (subscription).

  • "Twitter also set a record for active daily users, Apptopia notes, with 40 million people using the app in the U.S."

The context: "Santa Clara University Law School professor Eric Goldman says that both Republicans and Democrats are dissatisfied with the platform’s decisions to flag tweets — or not flag them."

10. 1 smile to go
Photo: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

"[T]he return of Universal Orlando’s theme parks after a nearly three-month shutdown saw light attendance ... and no major back-ups as visitors mostly complied with new safety procedures, like temperature checks," the Orlando Sentinel reports.

  • "The parks — Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and the Volcano Bay water park — had been shut down since March 16."
  • "The vast majority of guests wore their masks."
Mike Allen

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