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The U.S. economy lost 33,000 jobs in September while the unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, compared with economist expectations of 75,000 new jobs and a 4.4% jobless rate.

Last month was the first in seven years when the U.S. economy lost jobs. It bled 52,000 jobs in September of 2010.

Expand chart
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios
  • Economists widely blame the disruptive effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey for the disappointing number, because the survey methodology dictates that folks who didn't get paid on the pay period that included September 12th are not counted as employed.
  • But the report also revised down the two previous monthly estimates of job growth, suggested the slowdown is not all weather related.

Why the unemployment rate fell: The jobs report is actually a collection of two different surveys, one of businesses that gives us the number of job gains or losses, and a survey of households, from which the unemployment rate is devised. The household survey showed a huge increase in jobs, further bolstering the case that September's number are largely a hurricane-related fluke.

Go deeper

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Global press freedom deteriorates amid pandemic

Data: Reporters Without Borders; Chart: Axios Visuals

Journalism is seriously restricted in 132 of 180 countries included in Reporters without Borders' annual Press Freedom Index — a particularly dangerous state of affairs during the pandemic.

Breaking it down: Nordic countries are ranked high on the list for having "good" press freedoms, while China, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea are at the bottom. The U.S. is ranked 44th.

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How anti-greed backlash killed the European Super League

Photo: David Cliff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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Why it matters: The highly-complex structures of capitalism are built from the mostly base motivations of individuals chasing money. That's been condemned and celebrated in equal measure — but has also largely been accepted.

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Sens. John Barasso and Shelley Moore Capito. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans formally rolled out the framework for their $568 billion counterproposal to President Biden's $2.5 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday.

Why it matters: The package is far narrower than anything congressional Democrats or the White House would agree to, but it serves as a marker for what Republicans want out of a potential bipartisan deal.