It’s another month of weakness in the U.S. labor market, which was unexpected given hopes for a strong increase in employment.
According to the Labor Department report, nonfarm payrolls increased by only 210,000, down from 546,000 in October. This is 300,000 less than in November and 550,000 less than the forecast.
In view of the current labor shortage, the unemployment rate fell from 4.6% in October to 4.2%. This reflects an increase in labor force participation from 61.6% in October to 61.8%.
The labor force participation rate – a problem that has long hampered the U.S. economic recovery this year – is at its highest level since March 2020.
Additionally, employment in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, construction, and manufacturing is excellent. However, employment in retail sales declined this month.