The US job engine has slowed down considerably, stranding millions of people who are yet to find work after suffering an epidemic, and presenting new evidence that recovery is faltering.
Reported to the labor department Friday that employers added 245,000 jobs in November, less than half the number created in October. The pace of hiring has been reduced for five straight months now.
While many of those who had been out of work early in the epidemic have re-found jobs, there were nearly 10 million fewer jobs in February. Many of the unemployed are away for weeks Losing the benefits that keep them going, With emergency aid approved by Congress set last spring to end the year.
The latest sign of an economic headwind came as members of Congress struggle to reach agreement on a new aid package. A bipartisan group of legislators has proposed $ 900 billion, and House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said the dismal jobs report should provide momentum in negotiations.
Presidential election Joseph R. Biden Jr.The warning, “a deep winter,” emphasized the urgency of congressional action. “This is a serious job report,” he said in a statement. “It shows an economy that is stagnant. This confirms that we are in the midst of one of the worst economic and jobs in modern history. “
Kovid-19 Castleoids It has doubled in the past month and is expected to increase further, discouraging people from in-store shopping and leading to new restrictions. And in most parts of the country, cold weather is likely to disrupt outside food, upon which many restaurants depend.
“We are in an unusual situation in the economy right now,” said Ernie Tedesky, an economist at accounting firm Evercore ISI. “It’s far sunshine” due to the progression of the coronovirus vaccine, he said, but until then, we’re going to have some of the hardest months of this epidemic, and there are plenty of scars left to be healthy. “
One of the long-lasting wounds is likely to be a large pool of people – many still working-age people – who drop out of the labor force, bypassing them even when opportunities return. goes.
The share of those 16 or older who are in jobs or actively seeking one fell to 61.5 percent in November and remain well below the levels seen before the epidemic. The drop is particularly noticeable among women, who are heavily represented in the service industries, who are hardest hit by the epidemic – such as retail sales and food – and are more likely to leave the labor market because Family responsibilities.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 6.9 percent to 6.7 percent in November, but the main reason was that more people quit looking for work.
“Temporary unemployment fell, but permanent job loss occurred,” said Jed Coleco, chief economist at the job search site. The easily won benefits have already occurred, as employers briefly recalled the displaced workers, making subsequent progress difficult.
“Long-term damage measures deteriorated slightly in November,” he said.
Last month’s job totals were partially pulled down by the loss of 93,000 temporary census workers, now believed to have wound up in the official count.
Still in the private sector, “the pace is slow,” said Kathy Bosjacic, chief US financial economist at Oxford Economics.
While the crisis can be found in almost every pocket labour marketThe pain is unevenly distributed. This recession, like the previous ones, is expected to widen the wealth and income gaps and hurt people with minimal education.
Unemployment among black and Hispanic workers was significantly higher than in the previous month, as it was for whites, as they held an odd share of service jobs.
In March, 36-year-old Gabriella Wilgomez-Morales was removed from her post as an assistant teacher at a day care center in Tacoma, Wash., After the epidemic struck.
Ms. Wilgomez-Morales, a mother of four, was unable to pay a $ 1,000 rent for her home, so she packed up and moved in with her sister and her two children.
She has applied for jobs in restaurants and child care centers. Although she is yet to find work, she worries about what will happen to her children if she does so.
“It would be difficult, because someone would have to see my children if I’m not at home,” Ms. Wilgomez-Morales said. “Child care is really expensive.”
There have been some signs of energy in the labor market. With the epidemic keeping up for shopkeepers and home-working employees, it is no surprise that some of November’s biggest gains were storage and growing in goods and health care jobs.
Employers in business and professional services also continue to hire, although large parts of the economy – such as hospitality, travel and entertainment – are still waving.
The survey of all publicly posted jobs saw 11 million openings in November, a million more than the previous month, said Becky Frankiewicz, president of staffing and placement company ManpowerGroup North America.
“We continue to increase job week-by-week,” Ms. Frankwicz said. “We are nowhere near where we were, yet we continue to move forward with recovery.”
The seasonal is hired, but the composition is different from what it was in previous years. Instead of adding positions to cash registers in sales registers and call centers, employers are preparing people to work in warehouses and handle customer service calls from home.
“We hired several thousand associates for the seasonal holiday last week, and there are plenty of openings for door-to-door opportunities,” said Amy Glaeser, senior vice president of staffing firm Adecco.
Radial’s chief executive, Ilyas Simpson, who handles e-commerce operations for retailers and other businesses, said the company hired 15,000 seasonal workers, nearly tripling its North American workforce for the holidays.
“We’ve been hiring since October,” Mr. Simpson said, noting that Radial expected to hire 40 percent more people than last year. “We are in the middle of peak season.”
He plans to add several thousand employees over the next six months, some to permanent positions.
Last year, when the unemployment rate fell below 4 percent, the news that employers had added nearly a million people to payroll in a month would have been greeted with enthusiasm. But circumstances have changed radically over a short period of time.
Now millions more people are unemployed. And the greatest measure of unemployment, which includes workers who have part-time work but would prefer full-time employment or leave the job. 12 percent For two months.
If employment is not created, it will take more than three years to return to the labor market before the epidemic strikes.
Wendy Wilson, 54, has been out of work since March. She had worked as a brand ambassador for six years, helping companies sell products at conferences on the Las Vegas Strip, making about $ 35,000 a year.
Her state’s unemployment benefit was $ 115 per week, which was briefly increased by a $ 600 federal supplement before exiting in the summer.
Ms. Wilson struggled to pay the $ 1,170 rent for her two-bedroom apartment in Summerlin, Nev., And paid $ 460 per month monthly.
In August, her unemployment benefits ceased, but she said she was not able to reach the unemployment office she deserves. So Ms. Wilson continues to use her savings to pay bills, which include cash in her retirement account. She is also relying on donations from friends.
“I don’t have any savings, and it’s scary for me because of my age,” she said. “I don’t have the habit of relying on others to help me, and I don’t like it.”
Gillian Friedman and Gina Smiak contributed reporting.