🥤 The job situation, feat. expiring unemployment $$

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_Taking the jobs report out of the oven like [Alan Thornton/The Image Bank via GettyImages]_

Taking the jobs report out of the oven like Alan Thornton/The Image Bank via GettyImages

Last Week’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
35,369 (-0.24%)
S&P 500
4,535 (0.58%)
15,364 (1.55%)
$50,174 (3.10%)

Hey Snackers,

Labor Day is over, and spooky season has begun. Home Depot sold out of an early drop of Halloween decorations, Starbucks dropped the PSL early this year, and we're already hearing murmurs of a turkey shortage.

Stocks notched new records last week, as tech gains lifted the broader market. The S&P 500 index, which broadly tracks the US stock market, has clinched 50+ fresh highs in 2021.

1. The bummer August jobs report: from expiring unemployment $$, to Delta’s dent

Check the math again… August job numbers were as disappointing as a Fyre Festival sandwich. The US economy added only 235K jobs, the lowest gain since January — economists were expecting 720K new hires. The unemployment rate dipped to 5.2% from 5.4% in July — still higher than pre-pandemic.

  • The labor force participation rate — aka: the percentage of 16+ year olds that are working or actively looking for work — stayed at 61.7%, well below 63.3% pre-pandemic.
  • It’s not that there aren’t enough jobs. There are record high ~10M US job openings. Still, 8.4M Americans are unemployed. A few reasons why workers aren't returning...

1. Covid fears are keeping workers home as Delta surges, especially in customer-facing jobs. Leisure and hospitality jobs (think: waiters), which have been the primary driver of job growth this year, actually lost workers last month.

2. Childcare needs: Delta uncertainty has forced dozens of US school districts to postpone their return to IRL classrooms. That could slow job growth among parents — especially women, who’ve shouldered a larger share of pandemic childcare duties.

3. Boosted unemployment benefits: The extra $300/week in enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire nationwide this week. Half of US states already cut off boosted payments earlier this summer. And they've seen about the same job growth as states that didn't. It's still too early to know how the nationwide cut-off will affect job growth.

4. Favorable labor market: Jobs are plentiful, and wages are rising faster-than-expected as companies from CVS to Walmart hike pay and benefits to attract workers. People are becoming choosier about jobs they take, which can mean sitting out longer.


It's the Delta jobs report... In August, the number of people who said they couldn't work for a pandemic-related reason jumped by a whopping 400K, for a total of 5.6M. The US is seeing ~150K new Covid cases/day as the Delta variant spreads. It’s raising concerns that economic recovery could stall. The August jobs report could also cloud policy for the Fed, which is weighing when to reign in its economy-boosting policy.

Zoom Out

International lawyers on speed-dial… Data privacy and antitrust troubles are piling up globally for tech giants. Facebook-owned WhatsApp was fined $270M for privacy violations last week as part of Europe’s GDPR crackdown. Meanwhile: South Korea passed the first law in the world that dents Google and Apple's app store payments dominance, setting a precedent other countries could follow.

Corporate thirst… Extreme climate events — like CA’s wildfires and Hurricane Ida — are diminishing global water supply by contaminating reservoirs. The number of people with limited water is expected to more than double by 2025 to 1.8B. Now, companies that use water for everything from making cookies to cooling data centers are making moves: Procter & Gamble is donating money to protect water supplies, and Nestlé plans to conserve more water than it uses by 2025.


Love the pleather skirt... Don't love the $300 price tag. The “buy now, pay later” biz is booming, as younger shoppers skip credit cards. BNPL giant Klarna hit a $46B valuation in June, and Square bought Afterpay last month for a whopping $29B. Now, BNPL company Affirm is partnering with Amazon to allow 'Zon shoppers to pay in installments. We’ll see if BNPL’s growth — which took off when money was tight last year — is still strong when Affirm reports earnings on Thursday.

Labor Day BBQ vibes... On the grill: earnings reports. Rival grill-makers Traeger and Weber went public this summer as the pandemic fueled outdoor activities, including a BBQ boom. One in four grills on Earth are Weber's, but Traeger’s sales have been growing faster. Shares of both grill giants are up 20%+ since listing. We’ll see if sales are still sizzling when Traeger serves up earnings on Thursday.

  • NFTs: From Simone Biles to Shawn Mendes, sports stars and celebs are embracing non-fungible tokens to unlock the next opportunity in the fan economy.
  • Ida: Hurricane Ida is impacting consumers and businesses across industries, from oil and gas to insurance.
  • Drive: Apple is continuing its wallet takeover with a virtual driver’s license — and digital keys are next.
What else we’re Snackin’
  • Work: Four rules for identifying your life's work and "finding your marshmallow."
  • Visualize: The highest paid athletes in 2021, from Conor McGregor to Naomi Osaka.
  • Live: How buying time — the right way — can lead to much greater life satisfaction.
  • Chill: The five-minute habit that will change your day, according to neuroscience.
Snacks Daily Podcast

Our snackable 15-minute pod is back with a fresh episode.

"Call it the rise of Brotox."

Pharma giant Abbvie saw its Botox sales double last quarter as more men went under the needle. Tune in to hear why "Brotox" was Abbvie's highlight drug.

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This Week
  • Tuesday: Earnings expected from UiPath
  • Wednesday: Earnings expected from Lululemon, SentinelOne, GameStop, and Genius Sports
  • Thursday: Weekly jobless claims. Earnings expected from Affirm, Riskified, Traeger, Dave & Buster's, and Zumiez
  • Friday: Earnings expected from Kroger

Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Apple, Amazon, Google, Square, CVS, Walmart, and Starbucks

ID: 1827204