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“December jobs report: Payrolls drop for the first time since April, unemployment rate steadies at 6.7%.
U.S. job growth turned negative for the first time since April in the final month of 2020, as the pandemic that rocked the economy over the past year dealt yet another blow to the labor market.
The Labor Department released its December jobs report Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here were the main results from the report, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:
Change in non-farm payrolls: -140,000 vs. +50,000 expected and a revised +336,000 in November
Unemployment rate: 6.7% vs. 6.8% expected and 6.7% in November
Average hourly earnings, month-over-month: 0.8% vs. 0.2% expected and 0.3% in November
Average hourly earnings, year-over-year: 5.1% vs. 4.5% expected and 4.4% in November
December’s drop in payrolls widened the employment deficit in the labor market from before the pandemic, bringing the economy still more than 9.8 million payrolls short of its February levels. This came even as the payroll gains for each of October and November were upwardly revised by a combined 135,000.
Heading into Friday’s report, consensus economists had braced for a further deceleration in job growth at the end of the year, with employment trends weakening as new virus-related restrictions dampened employment and businesses awaited support from Congress’s latest stimulus package.”