|The Friday jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed the job market cooled further than anticipated in November as the virus surged and relief from Congress was still not forthcoming.
The economy added 245,000 jobs last month. During normal times this would be a big figure. That is not the case now. The labor market had added 610,000 jobs in October and 711,000 in September. The 245,000 increase is a noticeable slowing.
Easing the sting: The government shed 99,000 mostly seasonal Census workers. Also, the revisions to October and September numbers showed 11,000 more jobs in the economy. So, private sector job gains were over 350,000 last month – better than the headline, but still lower than previous months.
Long road: November marked the seventh straight month of gains since the economy lost more than 22.1 million jobs in March and April. Since that time, the economy has gained more than 12.3 million jobs. Even with the slow growth in November, this is an impressive feat. However, there are still more than 9.8 million fewer jobs in the economy than there were in February. It is going to take at least another year or more to get back to that level.
What’s next: The November jobs report makes clear the economy needs relief.
The Chamber’s Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley said Friday, “Today’s job report shows a slumping economic recovery. Data from the Census Bureau indicated that nearly three times as many small businesses are reducing their number of employees as are adding workers. Soon approximately 12 million Americans will lose their unemployment assistance. The fire alarm is sounding on our economy and the only question is whether Congress will respond.”
—Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce