US NFP and Jobs Data to Be Released Friday
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- The US economy continues to face near-term challenges due to the new wave of the Covid-19
- December 2020 was the worst month of the pandemic in the US by nearly every measure
The US Labor Department plans to release December’s jobs and unemployment report on Friday. The market waits to see how the economy fared throughout the holiday season while the coronavirus was sweeping across the continent.
Going back a month, in November, the US economy added 245,000 jobs. While the unemployment rate edged down to 6.7%. Even though the figures showed a seventh consecutive month of jobs climbing, the cooling pace of improving employment data indicated a slowing job growth. The slowing pace of hiring in November suggests that the labor market recovery is losing its momentum.
Employers Added 610,000 Jobs to the US Economy
The 245,000 new jobs came amid a surge in coronavirus cases and new restrictions that put businesses in an unfavorable position. A large portion of the jobs created was in transportation and warehousing. These sectors saw an increase by 145,000 news jobs as companies rushed to hire couriers and messengers as well as warehousing and storage workers.
Other categories that saw an inflow of workers were professional and business services. Up 60,000, health care sector, up 46,000. The hospitality industry which was hit the hardest during the Covid-19 pandemic added 31,000. On the other end, the retail sector lost 35,000 jobs. Bringing the total number to over 550,000 jobs lost in retail from February. Overall, the labor market has been gradually recovering. Bringing back more than half of the 22 million jobs lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving 10 million people still out of work, compared to the figures in February.
A New Wave Adds New Challenges
As the economy continues to face near-term challenges, mainly due to the new wave of the coronavirus. Moreover, the US Labor Department is set to release the latest jobs and unemployment report. The US non-farm payrolls for December along with the unemployment rate will be announced on Friday, 08:30 am EST. The December figures will serve as an indicator for market participants whether the economic recovery continues to decelerate or the pace is picking up as more people are employed.
In December, the US officially started to roll out the vaccine among the population. However, authorities have fallen short of the desired goal. For the last month of 2020, officials projected a total of 20 million vaccine shots administered to the priority groups across the US. As per data from the Center for Disease Control, nearly 3 million doses have been received by Americans.
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December 2020 was the worst month of the pandemic in the US by nearly every measure. Throughout the whole month, new cases per day stayed above the 100,000 mark, with some days reaching over 200,000. December was also responsible for over 6.1 million new cases, far above any other month. While the hospitalization rate surpassed 125,000 for the first time. In the grim and challenging month, the economic data for December will help gauge the effect of the pandemic on the US during the holiday shopping season.