Gold resumed its upward surge on Friday (September 3), when the U.S. employment report for August showed a shocking shortfall in new jobs. Gold prices moved above the 50-week moving average, closing the week at $1,833.70 per ounce. U.S. nonfarm payroll growth in August increased by just 235,000 versus expectations of 720,000. That sparked alarm among investors and brought the dreaded word “stagflation” into play. Desmond Lachman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said in an opinion column for the Hill , “In the 1970s, in the wake of the international oil price crisis, the United States suffered from a prolonged period of high inflation and high unemployment, which came to be called stagflation. … Today, with inflation rising to levels last seen 30 years ago and with unemployment remaining stubbornly high amid the COVID-19 pandemic despite massive policy stimulus, we may again be entering a prolonged period of stagflation.” President Biden blamed the delta variant for the bad employment numbers, but the variant’s consequences aren’t confined there. Said Lachman, “The delta wave that is hitting Asia particularly casts serious doubt on [U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman] Powell’s assumption that the supply side problems causing inflation to rise will be short-lived. … Closer to home, the delta wave is contributing to the unevenness of the economic recovery, and it could be delaying the return of people to the workplace.” Rick Andrews is president of Avant Capital Management.