Categories: Top News

U.S. employment growth misses expectations but unemployment falls to 3.9%

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U.S. employment increased less than expected in December amid worker shortages and job gains could remain moderate in the near term as spiraling COVID-19 infections disrupt economic activity, says Reuters.=

The US economy added fewer jobs than expected for the second consecutive month as the nonfarm payrolls rose by only 199K in Dec-21 (Nov-21: 249K), against market expectations of 400K.

This could be attributable by lingering worker shortages driven by concerns of contracting the Covid-19 symptoms and a lack of child care options, which deterred parents from returning to work.

Most of the job growth during the month was registered in leisure & hospitality; professional & business services; manufacturing; construction; and transportation & warehousing sectors.

However, the US jobless rate sustained a downward trend for the sixth consecutive month as it slipped to a new pandemic low of 3.9% (Nov-21: 4.2%), well below market consensus (4.1%).

Given the resurgence in domestic Covid-19 cases amid the emergence of the more transmissible Omicron variant, we anticipate this will continue to affect the pace of recovery in the US job market going forward. – MIDF

Other News

Stay home or work sick? Omicron poses a conundrum

As the raging omicron variant of COVID-19 infects workers across the nation, millions of those whose jobs don’t provide paid sick days are having to choose between their health and their paycheck. (AP)

UK’s Labour calls for windfall tax to protect people from rising energy bills

Britain’s main opposition Labour Party urged the government on Sunday to do more to protect families from rising power costs, calling for a windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas to offer people more help to deal with growing energy bills. (Reuters)

Chinese cities timely respond to public requests following lesson from Xi’an

After Xi’an apologized again for the delayed treatment of non-COVID patients, seeking to fix the loopholes in its epidemic response, other cities in China stepped up efforts to respond to the public’s demands in a timely manner, for example, by streamlining the hospitalization process for pregnant women or using social media to collect public requests. (Global Times)

FAMA assures reasonable prices for essential items

The Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) has given its assurance that essential perishables including chicken at farmers’ markets nationwide are sold at reasonable prices to avoid burdening consumers. (The Edge)

Covid-19: Malaysia cannot afford to implement lockdown, says Khairy

Malaysia cannot afford, in the economic and welfare aspects, to implement a lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Sunday (Jan 9). (The Edge)

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