Facing a fellow 0-3 team in the Denver Broncos, the Jets had their chances to come out of Thursday’s game with their first win of the season, but costly penalties seemed to get in their way at every turn in the 37-28 loss.

As a team, the Jets had 11 penalties for 118 yards, including six personal fouls. Perhaps none of them were more costly than Quinnen Williams’ facemask penalty against Brett Rypien, which negated a third-down sack that would have forced the Broncos to punt from deep in their own territory.

The Jets had just taken a 28-27 lead, but the penalty allowed the Broncos’ drive to continue. Denver would capitalize on the second life with afield goal to go up 30-28, before later icing the game with along Melvin Gordon touchdown.

“We had multiple chances to get off the field. We hurt ourselves,” Adam Gase said after the game. “Penalties were just brutal. Made them punt one time and just couldn’t do the right stuff. When we did hit [Rypien], we were hitting him late and were getting personal fouls. It’s ridiculous.

“When you look at it and there are 11 penalties for 118 yards, I mean we hurt ourselves. We need to get this corrected and we need to figure out like what guys are going to do things right, what guys are going to do the right things at the right time. This is not the way that we’re gonna play.”

In fact, the Jets’ final personal foul of the night came just before the final whistle, when Steve McLendon was charged with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Rypien on a fourth-down play.

The Broncos’ sideline seemed to be clearly upset at how physically the Jets were playing, and as a result, Broncos head coach Vic

Jeremy Fritz stopped working as an assistant manager for a fitness center in Carlsbad, Calif., during the pandemic lockdown in the spring when gyms were first closed.

By the end of April, the company operating the fitness center, Active Wellness, eliminated his health insurance. And in July, he was laid off when it became clear the center where he worked would be closed through 2020. Most of the small company’s gyms are still shuttered.

Losing coverage in the middle of the corona­virus crisis, as millions of other Americans have, was like “going into this thunderstorm without an umbrella,” Fritz recalled. Active Wellness put him in touch with an insurance broker, which helped him and his husband sign up for a plan under the Affordable Care Act.

For people such as Fritz, as well as those who qualify for Medicaid under the law, “there is still a safety net that wasn’t there 10 years ago,” said Sara R. Collins, a vice president at the Commonwealth Fund.

But that net is already fraying, with thousands of small businesses that had always expressed difficulty in providing employee health insurance under Obamacare now in far worse trouble because of the pandemic.

Hopes have also dimmed for another federal aid package before the presidential election.

Not only are businesses shedding workers, with the nation’s unemployed numbering roughly 13.6 million, but employers are also cutting expenses such as health coverage, and projections of rising numbers of uninsured have grown bleak.

Tens of millions of people could lose their job-based insurance by the end of the year, said Stan Dorn, director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation at Families USA, the Washington, D.C., consumer group. “The odds are we are on track to have the largest coverage losses in our history,” he said.

While estimates vary,

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in September, but diminishing government financial assistance and a resurgence in new COVID-19 cases in some parts of the country could slow the labor market’s recovery from the pandemic.

Other data on Wednesday confirmed that the economy suffered its sharpest contraction in at least 73 years in the second quarter because of the disruptions from the coronavirus. Record growth is predicted in the third quarter, buoyed by fiscal stimulus and the resumption of many business operations.

But without another rescue package, rising coronavirus infections and political uncertainty that could extend beyond the Nov. 3 presidential election, gross domestic product estimates for the fourth quarter are being slashed.

“With economic momentum cooling, fiscal stimulus expiring, flu season approaching and election uncertainty rising, the main question is how strong the labor market will be going into the fourth quarter,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics in New York.

Private payrolls increased by 749,000 jobs this month after rising 481,000 in August, the ADP National Employment Report showed. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast private payrolls would rise by 650,000 in September. Employment gains were spread across all industries and company size.

Manufacturing payrolls increased by 130,000 jobs and employment at construction sites rose 60,000. Hiring in the services industries advanced 552,000, with trade, transportation and utilities leading the gains.

The ADP report is jointly developed with Moody’s Analytics. Though it has fallen short of the government’s private payrolls count since May because of methodology differences, it is still watched for clues on the labor market’s health.

The ADP report is based on active and paid employees on company payrolls. The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) counts workers as employed if they received a paycheck during