U.S. Adds 245,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate Drops

SHRM- December 4, 2020

U.S. payrolls rose by an anemic 245,000 in November, according to reporting from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, providing more evidence that the pace of hiring has slowed as states have begun to reimpose restrictions on businesses amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Job growth has slackened every month since June, when businesses shuttered by the pandemic first began to reopen, but last month’s tally is the lowest figure yet.

The unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent from 6.9 percent, but the number of long-term unemployed continue to swell. A growing number of workers have exhausted their state unemployment benefits and have signed up for alternative federal emergency programs due to expire at the end of the year.

“The labor market recovery is losing steam fast amid two alarming conditions—the recovery is still grossly incomplete, and we are entering a dangerous period for the U.S. economy as more stay-at-home orders loom,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at Wrightside Advisors, an economic research and consulting firm based in New York City. “Importantly, this report covered just the first half of November, while the pandemic deteriorated significantly in the second half of the month.”

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