Friday, December 4, 2020

U.S. economy gains just 245,000 jobs in final report of 2020 as recovery stalls with Covid surging

“The virus is in the driver’s seat. The virus is what determines the trajectory of the recovery,” one economist said.

A contractor cleans inside the American Airlines Group Inc. Admirals Club passenger lounge at Los Angeles International Airport on Oct. 1, 2020.Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Martha C. White
NBC News

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, as the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists had predicted the economy would gain around 440,000 jobs.

Amid a fresh surge in coronavirus cases and a new round of shutdowns, Friday's figure represents the fifth straight month of decelerating job gains. It is by far the lowest monthly total since the economy started its halting recovery.

"Today’s report is both a wakeup call and a warning," said Nick Bunker, Indeed economic research director. "Coronavirus cases are surging throughout the country and several federal relief programs are set to expire this month. Progress in the labor market has slowed at the worst possible time. We might be optimistic about the spring, but the winter could bring another round of economic pain."  Read more >>