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US private-sector jobs continue climbing in September: survey

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Halloween Store Hiring (AFP)

US private employers added 749,000 jobs in September, payroll services firm ADP said Wednesday, as employment continues to rebound following the economic hit caused by the coronavirus downturn.

The report was above analysts’ expectations and came ahead of Friday’s release of the September unemployment rate by the Labor Department, the last before voters decide whether to give President Donald Trump a second term in the November election.

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The business shutdowns beginning in March to stop Covid-19 did grievous harm to the economy but ADP showed recovery in hard-hit sectors like leisure and hospitality, which added 92,000 jobs, and manufacturing, which added 130,000.

However, despite the report’s health, the Labor Department has been reporting weekly jobless claims hovering at levels well above the single worst week of the 2008-2010 global financial crisis, and Rubeela Farooqi of High Frequency Economics warns the employment crisis may not be over yet.

“The rebound in economic activity has been more muted recently and the risk remains that full recovery of jobs — especially in the service sector — will be a prolonged process, one that is primarily dictated by the virus,” she said.

Hiring was seen in businesses of all sizes, ADP said, with large businesses of 500,000 employees or more adding 297,000 jobs, while small businesses with 49 employees or less added 192,000. Medium-sized enterprises added 259,000.

The services-providing sector made up the bulk of the hiring gains, with 552,000 jobs added, while goods producers added 196,000.

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Economists view the ADP data as a preview of the monthly Labor Department employment report due out Friday that encompasses both private and government hiring.

Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said the ADP data predicts a gain of 950,000 private sector jobs in the Labor Department report, which would be less than August.

He warns other indicators “point to significantly weaker payrolls in October, and perhaps even the first outright decline since April.”

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The Commerce Department separately released its final estimate for second quarter US GDP, revising that quarter’s historic collapse slightly upwards to 31.4 percent, still the worst result in recent times.


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2020 Election

Here’s how The Christian Post ‘sold its soul’ to Trump — according to its former politics editor

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Political analyst Napp Nazworth watched as The Christian Post (CP) made its "gradual descent" from being anti-Trump to pro-Trump, often questioning whether or not he should jump ship from the publication. But what happened on Dec. 23, 2019, made the decision painfully clear.

"I was told by Michelle Vu, my boss at The Christian Post, to publish a pro-Trump op-ed as an editorial, meaning it was to express the position of the media organization," Nazworth wrote at Arc Digital. "'It can’t be an editorial,' I explained, 'because I don’t agree with it and I’m an editor.' Vu said she would call me back."

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Republicans grow increasingly nervous over potential loss of Senate seat GOP has controlled for decades

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Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) wants to fill the state's open Senate seat that been in the hands of Republicans since 1932, and was once widely expected to do so, but thanks to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the seat is more likely to be a toss-up, according to the Washington Post's Annie Gowen.

Marshall’s Democratic opponent, Barbara Bollier, 62, is a state senator who recently left the GOP, and has focused her platform on battling the pandemic and expanding health care. Gowen reports that she has racked up a "record third-quarter fundraising haul of $13.5 million, and has raised a total of $20 million. Marshall raised $2.7 million in the third quarter and has a total of $5 million."

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COVID-19

Spain becomes first EU nation with one million virus cases

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Spain has become the first European Union nation to surpass a million coronavirus infections, official data showed Wednesday, as the government mulls fresh restrictions on public life to curb the spread of the disease.

The country recorded 16,973 confirmed cases of Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, the health ministry announced Wednesday, taking the total to 1,005,295 since its first case was diagnosed on January 31 on the remote island of La Gomera in the Canary Islands.

Of this number, 34,366 people have died, after 156 more deaths were recorded in the previous 24 hours.

Spain, which is home to around 47 million people, is only the sixth country in the world to cross this grim milestone after the United States, India, Brazil, Russia and Argentina, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

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