A slowdown in new jobs in November was recorded in the United States with the economy adding just 245,000 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, showed data released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Compared to the expectations of economists, the number was smaller by 224,000. Compared to the massive 610,000 jobs added in October, November data showed a huge slowdown- indicating a sluggish recovery of the economy from the pandemic hit.
The rate of unemployment in November has however reduced a bit to 6.7 per cent from the 6.9 per cent in October, data showed. But that reduction in unemployment was because more workers exiting the labor force in November. The pandemic had prevented about 3.9 million people, out of the people who were not counted in the labor force, form looking out for work.
According to experts, the recovery of the US economy is losing steam after the economy was suddenly brought to a halt because of the Vobid-19 pandemic eight months ago as well as a better-than-expected recovery from the pandemic induced slowdown over the summer months.
Compared to the figures of February – prior to the pandemic hit, there are still 9.8 million jobs less in the economy. That number is still higher than the number of jobs that were lost during the Great Recession. According to experts, the US economy will take at least till March 2024 for the job market to reach pre-Covid-19 peak of February if the pace of recruitment continues at its current pace.
Fewer seasonal workers for the holidays were hired by the retail sector which resulted in the sector registering a loss of 35,000 jobs. The sector had reported good improvement over the summer.
The trend of online shopping, which was gaining traction even before the pandemic, was boosted by the health crisis. That resulted in a continued growth in jobs in warehousing and transportation sectors.
The loss of temporary workers hired for this year’s Census was the main reason that there was a decline in employment in government for the straight third month.
“The sharp slowdown in the pace of non-farm payroll gains to 245,000 in November underlines how the renewed surge in virus cases and restrictions is weighing on services demand, which will only intensify this month,” wrote Michael Pearce, US senior economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients.
According to Heidi Shierholz, director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, if the number of people who are officially unemployed, the workers who are on temporary layoff, those people who dropped out of the work force, and those who did not respond to the survey that was the basis of this jobs report, were added up, the real number of Americans out of work would come to about 19 million.
“If all these workers were taken into account, the unemployment rate would have been 11.2% in November,” Shierholz wrote on Twitter.
(Adapted from CNN.com)