The U.S. Department of Labor said on Friday that the increase in jobs in the U.S. economy in December was much lower than expected when the country was struggling to cope with the surge in new coronary pneumonia cases.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, non-agricultural employment increased by 199,000, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%. In contrast, Dow Jones estimates the number of employed persons is 422,000, and the unemployment rate is 4.1%.
The leisure and hospitality industry created the most jobs, a key recovery industry, adding 53,000 people. Professional and business services contributed 43,000 people, while manufacturing increased by 43,000 people.
These numbers are at a crossroads in the US economy, as there are more than 500,000 Covid cases every day, many of which are related to the omicron variant, which may hinder economic recovery, which is expected to accelerate in 2022.
Although economic growth has slowed throughout the summer, economists expect that GDP will increase substantially by the end of the year, and the Atlanta Fed will achieve 6.7% growth. Fed officials have been watching the data closely.
Inflation is running at its strongest rate in nearly 40 years, and some policymakers believe that the job market is close to full employment. Therefore, the central bank has stated that it will begin to slow down the help it has provided to the economy since the beginning of the pandemic.
Friday’s report covers the week including December 12th, which happened before omicron began to enter Christmas’s worst spike.
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