Quick Takes: The State of the Economy

* A lot of ink has been spilled during this election season about voter’s “economic anxiety.” Under those circumstances, you’d think that the election eve jobs report might be of some interest. But the big news about the report is that no one paid any attention – because it’s mostly good news. And why talk about good news when you can immerse yourself in stories about Clinton’s emails and the fact that – if you squint real hard – you can see a pathway to a Trump victory next week?

Anyway, here is what Jared Bernstein said about the report:

Payrolls rose 161,000 last month, in yet another in a series of solid reports on conditions in the US job market. Revisions to prior months added 44,000 to job counts, bringing the near-term (3-month average) trend in job growth to a robust 176,000 per month.

The unemployment rate ticked down slightly, but this was due to a slight tick down in the labor force, which remains stuck below 63%, down from 66% before the recession. While most of this decline is attributable to retirees aging out of the workforce, some portion, as discussed below, reflects the fact that, while the job market is clearly strengthening, it is not yet at full employment.

Average hourly wages grew 2.8% over the past year, their fastest growth pace since June 2009, suggesting that the tightening labor market is giving workers more bargaining clout.

He also made this helpful chart comparing past election eve jobs reports to this one:

* German Lopez reports the bad news about efforts in some states to make it more difficult to vote.

As a result [of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down sections of the Voting Rights Act], states have passed more voting restrictions over the past several years — including controversial voter ID laws and cutbacks on early voting days and hours.

But a new report from the Leadership Conference Education Fund, a civil rights organization, finds another potential effect: Counties previously monitored through the Voting Rights Act have closed down at least 868 polling places since the Supreme Court’s decision — a 16 percent reduction among the counties analyzed in the study. And out of 381 counties in the study, about 43 percent of them cut back on voting locations.

* But here’s the good news:

Latino voters are already showing up to vote this election and could cast ballots in larger numbers than Democrats saw in recent elections.

On a call with reporters Friday, Latino Decisions– a polling group focused on Hispanic voting patters– said that Latino turnout is on track to make history next week.

On the call, Gabriel Sanchez, a principal at Latino Decisions, pointed to early voting trends that show Latino early voting is up 100 percent in Florida, 60 percent in North Carolina and up 25 percent in Colorado and Nevada.

* Given what’s currently happening with the FBI, this seems like a BFD:

* For some people, this story might be old news. But our POTUS just keeps on keepin on.

* Since the election has crowded out any talk about climate change, this is an important thing to note:

* Finally, I thought that taking a lighter approach to some of the nonsense we’ve been subjected to lately might be just what the doctor ordered as we head into the weekend.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.