The U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate remained at 6.7%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The losses reflect an increase in cases related to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to respond to the pandemic.
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW) pointed out the important takeaway from the new numbers:
In response to the December job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
In a reversal, in December the number of unemployed reporting being on temporary layoff increased by 277,000 while those reporting permanent layoff status decreased by 348,000 according to @BLS_gov @AFLCIO #JobsDay— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021
After a string of months of recovery, @BLS_gov reports leisure and hospitality industries reported job losses in December: 327,000 decline for food service and drinking establishments. This is a big set back for those workers. @AFLCIO #JobsDay— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021
The year-over-year change in hourly wages reported by the @BLS_gov for December reflects a change in composition of the workforce, with a much bigger drop in the low wage sectors leading the change. Look at how nominal wages in manufacturing are flat. @AFLCIO #JobsDay pic.twitter.com/Jh1QI1bNpT— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021
The unemployment rate for adult Black women fell from 9.0 to 8.4%, because of a drop in labor force participation (the share employed fell from 55.0 to 54.5%); for adult Black men unemployment fell from 11.2 to 10.4% from job gains. @rolandsmartin— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021
The share of the unemployed who are long-term unemployed (more than 27 weeks) continues to grow. This means a rising share of workers are finding it hard to escape. This will make getting the number to fall harder. And the need to extend unemployment benefit duration essential. pic.twitter.com/xdXozquqBH— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021
President @JoeBiden will be greeted with a labor market that is again deteriorating, having given back its momentum, and now at a level around 2014. It'll have to be rescued again. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/ClD6VUwHII— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021
The flat employment-to-population ratio over October-November and now December is making the recovery look like a square root sign. Clearly the delay from Mitch McConnell in passing @SpeakerPelosi May economic relief stagnated the labor market. Looking forward to @SenSchumer pic.twitter.com/KUsxLWXW0s— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021
Mitch McConnell held up needed relief because he refused to address this dramatic loss of public sector jobs. A silver lining to the December jobs report is we now have Senate Majority leader @SenSchumer and in 12 days President @JoeBiden pic.twitter.com/bLN3WSVCju— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021
Last month's biggest job losses were in leisure and hospitality (-498,000), private education (-63,000), government (-45,000) and other services (-22,000). Gains were seen in professional and business services (161,000), retail trade (121,000), construction (51,000), transportation and warehousing (47,000), health care (39,000), manufacturing (38,000) and wholesale trade (25,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining, information and financial activities, showed little change in December.
In December, the unemployment rates increased for teenagers (16%) and Hispanics (9.3%). The jobless rates for Black Americans (9.9%), adult men (6.4%), adult women (6.3%), White Americans (6%) and Asian Americans (5.9%) showed little change.
The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose slightly in December and accounted for 37.1% of the total unemployed.