New Jobs Report Is Out, and It's Disappointing

Employers added 210K jobs, lower than expected, and that's before omicron
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2021 8:07 AM CST
Jobs Report Comes In Much Weaker Than Expected
A hiring sign is displayed outside of a retail store in Vernon Hills, Ill.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Economists had high hopes about the new monthly jobs report, but those hopes fizzled when the stats came out Friday morning. Employers heartily missed expectations in regard to new hires. The details:

  • New jobs: Employers added 210,000 jobs in November, well below expectations that were well north of 500,000, reports the AP. It's the lowest figure in about a year.
  • The rate: The unemployment rate actually fell, however, from 4.6% to 4.2%.
  • Big hit: The leisure and hospitality industries, which had been driving jobs growth in recent months, gained just 23,000 jobs, notes CNBC.

  • The blame: These stats were collected before the new omicron variant emerged, but COVID cases were nonetheless rising the week the surveys were taken, notes the Washington Post. Inflation, supply chain issues, and labor shortages also were seen as contributing factors.
  • Omicron: Much is uncertain about how much of an impact the variant will have on the recovery, but the fear is that it could crimp jobs numbers even further in the near future. “Just as delta derailed the recovery in terms of the labor market, if omicron behaved like that, I would guess it would hold back any recovery in the labor market,” Justin Weidner of Deutsche Bank tells the Wall Street Journal.
  • Reaction: Investors seemed to be shrugging off the disappointing report, with the stock market still poised to open in positive territory, notes CNBC.
(Read more unemployment stories.)

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