The Biden economy has underperformed expectations once again, adding only 199,000 jobs in December 2021, less than half of what experts had been expecting.
As The Hill reports:
The U.S. added 199,000 jobs in December as the omicron variant of COVID-19 began to spread through the country, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.
While the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in December from 4.2 percent in November, last month’s job gain fell far short of projections. Economists expected the U.S. to have added roughly 420,000 jobs last month after several weeks of low unemployment claims and signs of strength from private sector payrolls.
Despite the lackluster December job gain, the report showed signs of growing competition for sorely needed workers as employers struggle to keep up with the recovering economy. The jobless rate dropped to its lowest level since March 2019 as the labor force participation held firm, and average hourly earnings were up 4.6 percent on the year last month.
The December jobs report likely reflects little of omicron’s full impact on the economy. The two surveys conducted by the Labor Department to compile the employment figures occurred the week of Dec. 12, well before cases began spiking in major U.S. cities.
In addition, several industries that have been devastated by the pandemic continued to show little or no job growth in December.