Economy added 245,000 jobs and unemployment dipped to 6.7{b5fb2313141f47507446bcc3cb28c41525583ee0373a84bee66a3fb66eb5e85b} in November as recovery slowed

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The economy added 245,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dipped to 6.7{b5fb2313141f47507446bcc3cb28c41525583ee0373a84bee66a3fb66eb5e85b} in November, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

The gains were much less than forecasters expected, and represented the weakest monthly hiring total since April, as the pace of job creation has slowed amid rising COVID-19 infections and new business restrictions.

In normal times, the jobs numbers would have been strong, but the economy is still missing millions of jobs that were lost last spring.

“My concern is we’re not seeing evidence that there are new employers opening and creating brand new jobs… We’re still backfilling the ten million jobs that we’re still short from February,” said Jane Oates, president of WorkingNation, a nonprofit campaign focused on employment, and a former U.S. Department of Labor official in the Obama administration.

The labor market has recovered over half of the 22 million jobs lost in the spring due to the pandemic. Oates said that with the current pace of employment the country will not return to pre-pandemic employment levels for at least another year.

“Do the math: It’ll take us almost a year [from now] to get back to where we were in February,” she said.

The pace of job growth has slowed rapidly since 10 million jobs were created between April and August.

Since the fall, hiring has been sluggish as coronavirus infections skyrocket across the country. The nation went from roughly 50,000 new coronavirus cases each day in early September to nearly 200,000 new daily cases on Dec. 2, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The spike in virus cases has prompted a number of states to limit or prohibit visits to restaurants and bars. People are also choosing to avoid these places.

Oates thinks the January jobs report will be extremely important in determining the strength of hiring after temporary holiday season workers are laid off.

“I’m worried about the January report. That’ll be the one to see if we really are making a more permanent recovery,” she said.

Source : Economy added 245,000 jobs and unemployment dipped to 6.7{b5fb2313141f47507446bcc3cb28c41525583ee0373a84bee66a3fb66eb5e85b} in November as recovery slowed