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Home / Business / The United States lost 140,000 jobs in December.The first drop in eight months is due to the surge in coronavirus

The United States lost 140,000 jobs in December.The first drop in eight months is due to the surge in coronavirus



digital: As the coronavirus once again dealt a heavy blow to the economy, forcing companies to take more layoff measures, the United States experienced its first unemployment in eight months in December.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday that the government and the private sector laid off 140,000 jobs last month.

The decline in employment is the first time since April last year, when the United States lost 20.8 million jobs in just one month.

Before the pandemic began, the economy was still short of about 10 million job opportunities, and there was little hope that these jobs would be restored soon.

Empty tables in an outdoor restaurant in California. The coronavirus has once again suffered economic losses.

AFP via Getty Images

If there is a trace of commodity news in the report, the layoffs will be concentrated in restaurants and other businesses that rely on large numbers of customers. In fact, many other sectors of the economy actually recorded strong employment growth last month.

At the same time, the official unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%. However, economists estimate that the true unemployment rate is several percentage points higher because the official unemployment rate does not include the approximately 4 million people who left the labor force last year.

read: By the end of 2020, the number of unemployed remains high

Federal Reserve Chairman Thomas Barkin said: “People exiting the labor market is a big problem.”

In early trading, the US stock market rose slightly.Dow Jones Industrial Average Dow Jones Industrial Average
+ 0.04%
As investors reviewed the current economic difficulties and ushered in a better time later this year, this number set a new record.

what happened: As customers shrink, the number of employees in bars and restaurants has dropped by 372,000, and many states have reintroduced commercial restrictions to slow the record increase in coronavirus cases nationwide.

Many companies had to fire workers a second or third time, and some even closed permanently.

The workload of entertainment venues (theme parks, casinos, etc.) has also been reduced by 92,000, and the hotel industry has cut 24,000 jobs.

Coupled with the loss of employment, the number of people employed in the private education sector fell by 63,000, and the number of people employed in government departments fell by 45,000.

This news is not all bad news: employment is also increasing in many other major areas of the economy.

For example, the number of recruits for white-collar professional positions increased by 161,000, and the number of recruits for retail stores increased by 121,000, although seasonal fluctuations may overstate retail employment.

In the housing sales boom, construction companies also added 51,000 jobs, while manufacturers added 38,000 workers to their payroll. Among shippers and transportation companies that deliver more packages to households and businesses than ever before, employment increased by 47,000.

The number of recruitments in November and October was also higher than previously reported. The number of new jobs created in November increased from 245,000 to 336,000. Employment growth in October was revised from 610,000 to 654,000.

Big picture: By the end of 2020, the coronavirus outbreak has caused no damage to the U.S. economy as severe as it first suffered last spring.

However, the momentum has clearly slowed. Until vaccination becomes more widespread and the pandemic disappears, the likelihood of economic growth and employment is unlikely to increase again. At least until the summer, the unemployment rate is expected to remain high.

What are they talking about? Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said: “This has caused a major setback to the labor market and the economy, but the losses due to restrictions are concentrated to a certain extent, providing positive enlightenment for the recovery after the final vaccination. “

Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said: “This is just a halt to recovery, not a complete stagnation.”

Market Reaction: Dow Jones Industrial Average Dow Jones Industrial Average
+ 0.04%
And S&P 500 SPX,
+ 0.36%
It opened slightly higher in Friday’s trading.

Thanks to more federal stimulus plans from the Democratic president and the Democratic-controlled Congress, investors are expected to achieve a stronger economy in 2021.


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