November Posts Weak Jobs Gains, Drop in Unemployment

SHRM News Alert, December 3, 2021

U.S. employers added 210,000 new jobs in November, falling well under expectations, according to the latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists had forecast job growth over 500,000. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent from 4.6 percent in October.

Hiring has been positive throughout 2021, and strong on average, but labor force participation has remained below pre-pandemic levels. This trend has been attributed to lingering health and safety concerns, child care difficulties, a surge in early retirements and many workers seeking jobs with more flexibility. Labor shortages could worsen in coming months depending on the severity of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

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