Jobs in the United States fell in early December

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The number of job openings in the United States fell slightly in the first week of December, a sign of a slowing labor market amid rising coronavirus infections and declining household budget support .

According to data from job search site ZipRecruiter shared with the Wall Street Journal, an average of 10.7 million job postings were posted on online sites across the United States each day this month. , down slightly from 10.9 million in November.

The numbers are the latest signs that the economic recovery underway since spring is cooling off. Job growth slowed markedly in November compared to the previous month, the Labor Ministry reported on Friday. Employers added 245,000 jobs last month, up from 610,000 in October, the labor ministry said.
One measure of hiring – the share of LinkedIn members who added a new employer to their profile, indexed to the monthly average in 2015-16 – increased 0.8% in November compared to October. The index jumped 18.1% from September to October.

“I’m worried about a temporary dropout or rollback as we move into December and January,” said Guy Berger, senior economist at LinkedIn. He cited a “triple whammy” of factors weighing on the labor market: declining tax support for households, skyrocketing coronavirus cases and new restrictions on businesses and households to control the spread of the infection.

“It’s really a question of how well companies feel a crisis and adjust the number of employees versus’ I see a light at the end of the tunnel, so I’m willing to keep the recruiting pipeline open even during these difficult winter months ”, declared Mr. Berger.

Employment data showed the pace of hiring slowing significantly in November. Eric Morath of the WSJ explains why the labor market recovery has lost momentum. Photo: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

The seven-day moving average in the United States of new Covid-19 cases exceeded 200,000 on Monday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data – three times the rate at the peak of the summer outbreak. More than 100,000 people were hospitalized with the disease on Monday, according to the Covid Tracking Project, surpassing the heights of previous peaks in April and July. The country is currently recording an average of 2,200 deaths per day, close to the peak reached in the first months of the pandemic.

“How disruptive this latest wave is – it’s hard to say exactly, but it’s clear it will be,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at Wrightside Advisors, noting that companies across many industries have learned to operate with minimal in-person interaction since the spring. “But we’ve seen a glimpse of this, we know which direction he’s pointing and we know it’s not the right one. ”

Hiring for low-paying jobs, such as those in restaurants, is likely to be more vulnerable than higher-paying work to a downturn in activity caused by the virus and related business restrictions, Mr. Wright.

Some service providers are seeing increased demand. For example, there were 2.5 times more listings for warehousing and US Postal Service jobs in early December, compared to February, according to data from ZipRecruiter. Home child care positions more than doubled from February.

The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that there were 6.7 million seasonally adjusted jobs available on the last working day in October. That compared to 6.5 million openings at the end of September, but was down from 7.3 million a year earlier. Hires were flat at 5.8 million in October, while layoffs and dismissals rose to 1.7 million, from 1.4 million in September.

The number of job vacancies in October was well below the 11.1 million unemployed that month, according to ministry data.

The report is about a month behind the more closely watched Monthly Jobs Report and private sector data.

Write to Gwynn Guilford à [email protected]

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