Employers Added 245,000 Jobs in November as Hiring Slows Amid Surge in Coronavirus

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EMPLOYERS ADDED 245,000 jobs in November, well below expectations, as the hiring slowdown continues amid a spike in coronavirus cases, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Economists had expected 440,000 jobs to be added, down from 638,000 in October. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, ticked down to 6.7% from its 6.9% rate in October.

Gains were strongest in the transportation and warehousing sectors, with the addition of 145,000 jobs, as well as in professional and business services, where jobs increased by 60,000. Government employment fell by 99,000, largely among temporary workers who had been hired for the 2020 census. Retail lost 35,000 jobs.

“It’s no shock to me that the November jobs numbers dipped lower than expectations,” Steve Rick, Chief Economist at CUNA Mutual Group, said Friday morning. “Although a vaccine is within our sights, it is still just out of reach. The winter ahead looms long and dark for the economy as many states grapple with rolling back reopening measures to slow down the surge in cases,” Rick added.

A report on private-sector hiring from payroll firm ADP on Wednesday found businesses added 307,000 workers from October to November. Meanwhile, the weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday showed a decline of 75,000, from 787,000 to 712,000, though reports that cover holiday periods such as Thanksgiving tend to be less reliable than at other times.

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