BREAKING NEWS: Economy gains only 245,000 jobs in November as recovery ceases amid fears worse will come as COVID cases increase
The US economy added the fewest workers in six months in November, hampered by a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases that, along with a lack of more government money, threaten to reverse the recovery from the pandemic recession.
Payrolls for non-farm businesses rose 245,000 jobs last month after an increase of 610,000 in October, the Labor Department said on Friday.
That was the smallest gain since the job recovery began in May. The fifth consecutive monthly slowdown in job growth meant that employment remained well below its peak in February.
The well-viewed employment report only covered the first two weeks of November, when the current wave of coronavirus infections began.
Infections, hospitalizations and death rates have skyrocketed, leading some economists to anticipate a decline in employment in December or January as more jurisdictions impose restrictions on businesses and consumers avoid busy places like restaurants.
Not Enough: Economists had expected 469,000 new jobs, but there were only 245,000 – and COVID’s rise sparks fears of even more bad job news
Economists polled by Reuters had predicted payrolls would increase by 469,000 jobs in November. The number of recruitments peaked at 4,781 million in June. Reports on consumer spending, manufacturing and services suggest a slowdown in the recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
The United States is in the midst of a new wave of COVID-19 infections. Nearly 200,000 new cases were reported on Wednesday, and hospitalizations approached a record 100,000 patients, according to a Reuters count of official data.
A bipartisan, $ 908 billion coronavirus aid plan gained momentum in Congress on Thursday as conservative lawmakers expressed support and leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives cowered.
More than $ 3 trillion in COVID-19 aid from the government helped millions of unemployed Americans cover daily expenses and companies kept employees on the payroll, leading to record economic growth in the third quarter. The uncontrolled pandemic and the lack of additional fiscal stimulus could cause the economy to contract in the first quarter of 2021.
The unemployment rate fell from 6.9% in October to 6.7%. However, it has been biased by people who misclassify themselves as “working but absent from work”, leaving the focus on long-term unemployment and people working part-time for economic reasons.
Economists are also looking at the share of women in the workforce. Industries that typically employ women have been hit hard by the recession. Many women have also quit their jobs to take care of children as schools have switched to online learning.
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