DECEMBER 7, 2020 – NEW JOBS SLOW IN NOVEMBER
The US economy added 245,000 job in November, missing expectations of 440,000 new jobs, and far less than the 610,000 jobs added in October. With the increase in new jobs, the unemployment rate fell from 6.9 percent in October to 6.7 percent. It is notable that the US economy added back the smallest number of jobs in 7 months.
Looking at the big picture, 12.3 million of the 22 million jobs lost in the first two months of the pandemic have been brought back. There remain 10.7 million people without work, compared to 5.8 million in February.
We hope the November number is an anomaly, because, according to economists, if the November pace continues, we will not be back to pre-pandemic employment levels until 2024. Even with the approval of a vaccine imminent, it will take a while for a broad rollout and a return to activity levels nearing normal. Economists worry the next two quarters will be flat, or even show negative growth, before rebounding in the second half of 2021.