Economy Sheds Jobs For First Time Since April

Economy Sheds Jobs For First Time Since April

"But it is a labor market that is poised for recovery, given the fact that we are seeing the vaccine".

Faster hiring of people who were laid off during the pandemic-induced recession that began in February would improve the employment picture.

More fiscal stimulus is expected now that Democrats have gained effective control of the US Senate, boosting the prospects for President-elect Joe Biden's legislative agenda.

The incoming Biden administration has called for additional relief.

The data was released by the BLS at the end of a tumultuous week in Washington, with President Donald Trump's supporters storming the US Capitol in a dramatic siege that threatened America's political stability.

"The industry breakdown displayed nearly a textbook response to the new restrictions", said Douglas Porter, chief economist at Bank of Montreal, in a note to clients.

Canada's economy lost 63,000 jobs in December - the first employment decline since April.

The weakness largely reflected job cuts at restaurants hit hard by restrictions, and that could extend into Joe Biden's first months in office, with the President-elect already inheriting an economy that's down nearly 10 million jobs compared with before the pandemic.

Friday's figures from the Labor Department depict a sharply uneven job market, with losses concentrated among restaurants, bars, hotels and entertainment venues, many of them affecting low-income employees, while most other sectors are still adding workers. Government employment declined by 42,000.

United Kingdom hospitals overwhelmed as COVID cases and deaths spike
The number of people on mechanical ventilators is also up by 42 percent, from 640 to 908, in the week up to 6 January. While the infection rate for the city as a whole is one in 30, it is as high as one in 20 in some localised areas.

Full-time employment in December rose by 36,500, but there was a loss of 99,000 part-time jobs.

More people also worked from home in December.

"That said, given there are still sections of the economy that have not been able to adapt, most obviously the accommodation and food services, they are going to continue to suffer for the foreseeable future until the vaccine begins to take effect within the population". The data increases the likelihood of another rescue package by March.

The greenback had been climbing from a almost three-year low on Thursday as a rise in USA yields helped fuel the unwinding of bearish bets on the currency, with traders taking profits against the euro in particular. US Treasury prices fell.

With the virus hollowing out lower-wage industries, average hourly earnings surged 0.8% after gaining 0.3% in November.

Had it included in the calculations Canadians who wanted to work last month but didn't search for a job, the unemployment rate would have been 10.9 per cent in December, unchanged from November.

"State & local government employment fell by a further 45,000 which, unlike previous months, was not due to a fall in education payrolls, and so probably reflects broader budget constraints starting to bite", Capital Economics' Pearce wrote. Employment in specialty residential contractors and residential construction is one of the few sectors of the economy that employ more workers than before the pandemic.

"This means giving access to capital to the managers of small businesses, [qui sont] the economic engines of our neighborhoods", but also" ensuring that we equip workers with the skills they need, "she said. Finally, the Labor Force Participation Rate remained steady at 61.5%.

Yet, there's optimism the economy will quickly accelerate once the pace of vaccinations picks up.

Related Articles