New jobs numbers for the month of November underperformed massively compared to what was expected by many economists.
As Fox Business reports:
U.S. job growth significantly undershot expectations in November, suggesting that difficulty in attracting new workers is weighing on the labor market’s recovery from the pandemic, even as COVID-19 cases dissipate nationwide.
The Labor Department said in its monthly payroll report released Friday that payrolls in November rose by just 210,000, well below the 550,000 jobs forecast by Refinitiv economists. It marked the slowest job growth this year. The unemployment rate (which is calculated based on a separate survey) dropped more than expected to 4.2% from 4.6% — the lowest level since the pandemic began.
The labor had been gaining momentum after a delta-induced slowdown over the summer, but the latest figure marks a significant drop from October’s upwardly revised number of 546,000 and September’s upwardly revised 379,000. There are still about 3.9 million fewer jobs than there were last February, before the crisis began.
“Today’s employment report is doubly disappointing, because the reference week occurred just as it looked like Covid was on the retreat,” said Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist. “This was a moment for people to return to malls and to return to work. The Covid-related news has only gotten worse since then.”
With the economic impacts of the omicron variant still yet to be felt, the report signals the beginning of what may be a bad winter for President Biden.