By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
Washington (AP) — US unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since the pandemic last month, despite employers appearing to be delaying employment.
The government reported on Friday that private companies and other employers added just 210,000 jobs in November. This is the weakest monthly increase in almost a year, less than half of the October increase of 546,000.
However, other data from the Ministry of Labor report drew a much brighter picture. The unemployment rate plummeted from 4.6% to 4.2%. That’s because virtually 1.1 million Americans said they got a job last month.
The US economy remains threatened by rising inflation, labor and supply shortages, and the potential impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. But so far, Americans are free to spend, the economy is projected to grow at an annual rate of 7% in the last three months of this year, and the delta variant has hampered growth at a pace of 2.1% in the previous quarter. Is recovering rapidly from. ..
Employers in some industries, such as restaurants, bars and hotels, significantly delayed hiring in November. In contrast, employment growth continued to be strong in areas such as transportation and warehousing that benefited from the growth of online commerce.
The sharp drop in unemployment was particularly encouraging, as 500,000 job seekers flowed into the workforce, most of them at the same time that they found a job immediately. Many such people usually take a long time to find a job and are counted as unemployed until they find one. Continued influx of new job seekers will help reduce the labor shortage that has plagued many employers since the economy began to recover from the pandemic.
Julia Pollak, Chief Economist at ZipRecruiter, an online recruiting site, said: “Low unemployment and high wage growth seem to ease supply constraints a bit.” —Two factors that encourage people to look for jobs.
The November report reflects the differences between the two government surveys. The unemployment rate is calculated from a survey of households that reported an increase of 1.1 million people who reported being hired last month. Another survey of employers, known as the salary survey, found that only 210,000 jobs were added last month.
The results of the two surveys are usually consistent in the long run, but can show very different results in a particular month.
According to a household survey, the number of unemployed Americans dropped to 6.9 million in November, well below the pre-pandemic 5.7 million. In addition, the average wage that employers are raising to attract and retain workers has risen sharply to 4.8% from a year ago.
For months, employers have been suffering from a labor shortage, as many people who have lost their jobs in the pandemic have not returned to the workforce for a variety of reasons. But last month, nearly 600,000 people left bystanders looking for a job and were generally hired immediately. The government classifies people as unemployed only if they are actively seeking work.
As a result, the employment rate for Americans has risen from 61.6% to 61.8%, the largest increase since April. If that long-awaited development continues, it could point to stronger employment growth in the future.
Nonetheless, a government survey of companies suggested that some employers were more cautious about employment last month. Restaurants, bars and hotels have increased employment by just 23,000 from 170,000 in October. This may reflect the impact of an increase in COVID-19 cases last month and a decrease in outdoor diet.
Retailers have cut 20,000 jobs. This shows that holiday employment was not as strong as it used to be. However, the transportation and warehousing company has added 50,000 positions. This shows that online retailers and shippers expect healthy online shopping.
The work outlook for the coming months has become more ambiguous with the advent of Omicron variants. Little is known about Omicron, and widespread business closures are considered unlikely. Still, Omicron could discourage some Americans from traveling, shopping, and eating out in the coming months, slowing the economy.
Despite the steady decline in unemployment this year, the proportion of Americans who are working or looking for a job has barely risen, so the number of people looking for a job has increased. Is important. The shortage of job seekers tends to limit employment and force businesses to pay more to attract and retain employees. Higher wages help maintain spending and growth. However, if prices are raised to offset the high labor costs companies often do, it can also contribute to inflation.
As a result, there are about 3.6 million fewer employees than before the pandemic. However, only about one-third of them are actively looking for a job and are classified as unemployed. The remaining two-thirds are no longer job hunting and are not counted as unemployed.
Whether more people start looking for a job is an important issue for the Federal Reserve. If the proportion of people in the workforce does not rise significantly, the Fed is approaching its goal of maximum employment.
Inflation is 30 years high, well above the Fed’s annual target of 2%, so meeting employment obligations will put more pressure on Chair Jerome Powell to raise interest rates sooner or later. .. Doing so will make the loan more expensive for many individuals and businesses.
About half of those who retired have retired. The other half includes parents, mostly mothers, who were at home to take care of their children during school closures and day care. Childcare is either unavailable or out of reach for some of these women. Some other people have become self-employed. And others continue to delay their job search for fear of being infected with COVID-19.
As more people find jobs, the US unemployment rate drops to 4.2% – Reading Eagle
Source link As more people find jobs, the US unemployment rate drops to 4.2% – Reading Eagle