US economy adds 245,000 jobs, unemployment down to 6.7%

US ECONOMY ADDS 245,000 JOBS, UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN TO 6.7%
US economy added just 245,000 new jobs in November, the Labor Department reported on December 4, 2020, far below what analysts were expecting, and a new sign the labor market recovery has stalled as Covid-19 cases surge. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski

The US economy added 245,000 jobs in November, but the unemployment rate declined to 6.7%, the Department of Labor announced Friday.

The market estimate for nonfarm payrolls was an increase of 469,000 for November, while job additions for October were revised down by 28,000 from 638,000 to 610,000, according to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate beat the market expectation as the consensus for it was a decline to 6.8% in November, while this level stood at 6.9% in October.

"These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it," the department said in a statement.

The Labor Department, however, noted that the pace of improvement in the labor market has "moderated" in recent months.

Transportation, warehousing, professional and business services, and health care were the sectors that recorded notable job gains in November, while employment declined in government and retail trade last month.

November marked the seventh consecutive monthly decline in unemployment, as the number of jobless people last month fell to 10.7 million.

The figure, however, reveals that number of people without a job is still 4.9 million higher than the level in February, and only half of 22 million people who lost their jobs in March and April could find employment since then in the world's largest economy.

US President-elect Joe Biden asked lawmakers to immediately pass a relief bill to stimulate the economy and provide aid for unemployed people, as Democrats lowered their initial offer in the package from $2.2 trillion to $909 billion to lower the gap with Republicans' offer of around $500 billion.

Biden has also indicated there could be additional relief coming in 2021.

The decline in November unemployment rate was viewed positively by investors on Friday as the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq futures were all up by around 0.3% each, indicating another possible rally in the stock market.


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