Daily Column – 6th November 2021

We know we shouldn’t say it, but yesterday morning offered a double dose of goodness that rendered coffee obsolete.

First, there’s the employment report.

The US outperformed predictions in October, adding 531,000 jobs while the rate of unemployment fell from 4.8 percent to 4.6 percent. Jobs were added in a variety of areas, with the hotel and leisure sector gaining the most (+164,000).

What is better is, the employment numbers for August and September were not quite as bad as we had anticipated. August’s job numbers were revised up by 117,000, and September’s by 118,000.

What’s at stake: After being hampered by the Delta variation and an unprecedented labour shortage, the labour market is back on the growth path. That scarcity, on the other hand, appears to be lingering. In recent months, the rate of participation by the labor-force, which gauges the share of persons working or seeking for work, has remained unchanged.

Then there’s the Covid pill.

Pfizer recently disclosed clinical trial data for its Covid-19 tablet, and it was a glowing report card for any helicopter parent: The medication cut hospitalizations and fatalities in the most vulnerable individuals by 89 percent, which is a fantastic result. Clinical trials at Pfizer were discontinued early.

Antiviral medications such as Pfizer’s and Merck’s (which was recently approved in the United Kingdom) are critical instruments in the fight to change Covid-19 from a pandemic to an endemic virus. These pills are significantly more accessible than current therapies, which need a visit to a medical office, when used at home within days after finding Covid symptoms.

What’s at stake: We know you’ve been hearing it for a while, but it’s true this time…the end is near. According to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, “this epidemic may well be gone” in the United States by January 4—the vaccination mandate deadline for big US employers—”this pandemic may well be over.”

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