'Brace Yourself': Economists React To December Jobs Report On Twitter
Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 jobs in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
The unemployment rate was unchanged from November and remains at 6.7%.
The leisure and hospitality category was hit the hardest in December, losing 498,000 jobs, with three-quarters of those job losses at food services and drinking places. Employment in the leisure and hospitality industry is now down 3.9 million jobs since February, or 23.2%.
There were 121,000 jobs added in retail trade, with 59,000 of those jobs coming in the sector of general merchandise stores that includes warehouse clubs and supercenters. But the retail trade industry still has 411,000 fewer jobs than it did in February.
Construction was another bright spot for the December jobs report, adding 51,000 jobs in December. Employment in the industry is now 226,000 jobs below its February level.
Here's how economists and others reacted to the December jobs report on Twitter:
Here we are, astonishingly, at the first #JobsDay of 2021. As we are all taking stock of where things stand in our democracy, it’s a moment to also take stock of where things stand in the labor market, after 2020. Brace yourselves. 1/— Heidi Shierholz (@hshierholz) January 8, 2021
The recovery was never ‘V’-shaped to begin with and after today’s report, something akin to a ‘W’ appears more likely. As it stands, only 56% of virus-related job losses have been recovered. pic.twitter.com/CIw4Mt8BZ6— Steven Rattner (@SteveRattner) January 8, 2021
Dec #JobsReport:— Daniel Zhao (@DanielBZhao) January 8, 2021
- Payrolls *fell* 140K, down from +336K in Nov & first drop since April
- Unemployment rate flat at 6.7%
Today's report is an alarming economic bookend to 2020 & shows the recovery grinding to a halt as the pandemic worsens#JobsDay 1/
The report showed that jobs fell by 140,000 in December—an unequivocal disaster for the state of the economic recovery. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the inadequate federal response, job growth waned throughout the fall and fell outright in December.— Elise Gould (@eliselgould) January 8, 2021
We're in the midst of a political crisis, during a public health crisis, and an economic crisis.— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) January 8, 2021
A technical side note. A recession is defined as a period of declining economic activity. By this logic the initial covid recession which started in February ended a few months later when the rebound started.— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) January 8, 2021
Today's numbers may signal that a second recession began in late 2020.
In Decr, 23.7% of employed persons teleworked due to pandemic, up from 21.8% in Nov. Also, 15.8 million didn’t work at all or worked fewer hours because employer— David Wessel (@davidmwessel) January 8, 2021
closed or lost business due to pandemic, 1 mm higher than Nov. @BLS_gov https://t.co/DmoYJyp966
#JOBday continued strong growth in construction and manufacturing jobs, adding 51k and 38k, respectively— Dean Baker (@DeanBaker13) January 8, 2021
Big job losses in December in...— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) January 8, 2021
Private education: -63,000
15.8 million people said they had been unable to work b/c their employer closed due to covid —>up 1 million from November
Job losses were concentrated in low work-from-home industries. Further evidence that the virus surge hurt the labor market in December and that we backslid into pandemic patterns. pic.twitter.com/Mun8jQk3pr— Jed Kolko (@JedKolko) January 8, 2021
The rate of labor force participation was flat in December. But, the rate **fell** for those 35-44. For women in this group, the rate is approaching the lows we saw when the crisis first hit. I think I have an idea of what many of those women are overwhelmed doing.— Wendy Edelberg (@WendyEdelberg) January 8, 2021
The year ends with 9.8 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic recession hit in February and 546,000 fewer jobs than the start of Trump’s presidency in January 2016.— Elise Gould (@eliselgould) 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
Keep in mind this ➡️The V(accine)-Shaped Recovery: A bullish Goldman Sachs expects nearly 6% GDP growth in 2021. But also expects about half the population will be vaccinated by April, climbing to about 3/4 by year-end. Here's hoping!— James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) January 8, 2021
Until we get the virus under control, the American economy will remain on its knees. The faster we accomplish this, the faster jobs and business activity will thrive & the need for fiscal supports diminishes.— Aaron Sojourner (@aaronsojourner) January 8, 2021