US adds 245,000 jobs in November as virus threatens economy’s slow comeback

Politics

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — U.S. employers added a modest 245,000 jobs in November, as companies scaled back their hiring as the viral pandemic accelerates across the country. This marks the fewest added jobs since April and the fifth straight monthly slowdown.

November’s job gain was down from 610,000 in October. Long-term unemployed, those jobless for more than 27 weeks, rose by 385,000 to 3.9 million.

The report Friday from the Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 from 6.9% in October. Since April, the jobless rate has decreased from a peak of 14.7%.

The report said unemployment rates declined for adult women in November whereas other major worker groups showed little or no change.

U.S. deaths from the coronavirus topped 3,100 Wednesday, a new daily high, with more than 100,000 Americans hospitalized with the disease, also a record, and new confirmed daily cases topping 200,000. In the past month, many states have imposed new restrictions on businesses, and health officials are urging Americans to avoid all but essential travel.

Many economists, along with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, have called on Congress to approve another stimulus package to carry the economy into the spring, until a vaccine is widely distributed that would allow economic activity to start returning to normal.

There are signs that the economic recovery is stumbling. Consumer spending grew in October at the slowest pace in six months. Seated diners at restaurants are declining again, according to data from the reservations website OpenTable. And a Fed report on business conditions found that growth cooled last month in several Midwest regions and in the Fed’s Philadelphia district.

David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide, said he thinks the worst consequences of the pandemic won’t appear until the December jobs report is issued in early January.

The November report “will be the last hurrah for the next several months,” Berson said.

President-elect Joe Biden addressed the jobs report Friday afternoon. You can watch his full comments in the player above. President Donald Trump did not publicly comment about the report.

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