'Mindboggling': Economists React To December Jobs Report On Twitter
The U.S. economy added 199,000 jobs in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, falling short of expectations.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, a significant drop from January when the unemployment rate was 6.3%.
Revisions added 141,000 new jobs to the previous two months' job reports.
Employment in leisure and hospitality grew by 53,000 jobs in December, 43,000 of which were at food services and drinking places. Despite its continued upward trend, employment in the leisure and hospitality sector is still down 1.2 million jobs — or 7.2% — since February 2020.
Following average monthly gains of 38,000 jobs over the previous three months, the construction industry added 22,000 jobs in December. Construction employment is now down 88,000 jobs from its February 2020 level.
Retail trade, healthcare and government jobs showed little or no change in the December jobs report.
Here's how economists and others reacted to the December jobs report on Twitter.
JUST IN: The US economy added back 199,000 jobs in December – far lower than expectations of 424,000— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) January 7, 2022
The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% (down from 6.3% in January 2020)
Overall, the US has gained back ~84% of jobs lost in the crisis.
Revisions punched November's number up from +210k to +249k, and October up from +546k to +648k. Those upward revisions -- and the prospect that December's number is likely to be revised up -- put a somewhat sunnier glow on these disappointing numbers.— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) January 7, 2022
Big miss on the headline jobs number, but this is a complicated report and I'd argue it gives the Fed more ammunition to be hawkish. Wages increased more than expected, the jobless rate fell to the lowest since February 2020 and the participation rate was unchanged from November— Lisa Abramowicz (@lisaabramowicz1) January 7, 2022
Yet again, the household survey shows a very sunny picture of the labor market. Employment-to-population ratio rising, number of people unemployed falling. Americans who want a job are getting them. pic.twitter.com/vZACVFyE3C— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) January 7, 2022
What an absolute mess of a report, totally strange— Adam Ozimek (@ModeledBehavior) January 7, 2022
The US economy added just 199,000 jobs in December. It's hard to see any big omicron impact.— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) January 7, 2022
Hospitality added +53,000 (restaurants alone added 42,600)
Continued quite strong wage growth. Average hourly earnings up 0.6% in December, 4.7% year-over-year.— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) January 7, 2022
A silver lining in the jobs data:— Ylan Q. Mui (@ylanmui) January 7, 2022
Women's labor force participation rate in December was at its highest level since the pandemic started.
56.5% of women over 16 yo
57.8% of women over 20 yo
In contrast, male participation ticked down.
What to think about this, given that December is not usually a big time to hire and especially this December? We know quits were at all-time high in November, so let’s wait to see January or probably February numbers before we worry too much. Also, #covid still rules… https://t.co/p3qnX4tz9s— Diane Lim (@economistmom) January 7, 2022
The number of people whose layoffs are characterized as permanent continues to drop like a stone pic.twitter.com/cmdT0q1SJb— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) January 7, 2022
Disappointing number aside, the U.S. economy managed to add 6.4M jobs in 2021, with an average of 537K new positions added each month.— Sarah Foster (@sarahffoster) January 7, 2022
Firms have recovered about ~84% of pandemic-induced job losses, with 3.6M more positions left to go. pic.twitter.com/Vm6sxbA3nV
Looking over the full year, 2021 jobs data is pretty mindboggling. We added 6.4 million jobs and the labor force participation rate rose. Wage growth was strong and workers were able to quit their jobs *to take better ones*. 3/ https://t.co/Ew3WNCJtCS— Heidi Shierholz (@hshierholz) January 7, 2022
In 2021, the US added back a total of 6.4 million jobs – the most on record for a single year.— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) January 7, 2022
(In percent terms it was the best year for job gains since the late 1970s)
This jobs recovery has been incredibly fast (chart via @calculatedrisk) pic.twitter.com/3umCIVMneI
Imagine going back to your 2018 self and saying "Hey, at the end of 2021 the unemployment rate will be 3.9% and you'll be concerned by payrolls 'only' going up 199k."— Nick Bunker (@nick_bunker) January 7, 2022
Strange times in the US labor market.