The survey of households, on the other hand, tracks people who are working full or part time, including gig workers. And households reported that the number of people with jobs ticked down to 149.7 million. This wasn’t a slowdown in growth, but an actual decline of 74,000 working people – the first month-to-month decline since April.
The chart shows both results, from establishments (green) and from households (red) – the biggest part of the difference being gig workers. It’s obvious that even by November 12, before the real impact of the Covid surge, this was no good, in terms of catching up with population growth, or in terms of anything else:
So this employment data, as dreary as it is, attempted to capture the labor market conditions the way they were through November 14. In the three weeks since then, conditions have worsened, and they’re in the process of worsening further with the renewed restrictions now rippling across the country, and December is going to be rougher on the employment front.The Jobs Report is a Mess, December Will Be Messier | Wolf Street