New jobs growth has not even reached half of what financial experts had predicted in November. In addition, hiring slowed sharply as the number of COVID-19 cases increased.
“Nonfarm payrolls increased by just 210,000 for the month,” CNBC reported, noting that the “Dow Jones estimate was for 573,000 new jobs.”
The jobless rate declined to 4.2%. Last month, the retail industry lost 20,000 jobs, while transportation and warehousing added 50,000 and professional and business services added 90,000, Daily Wire reported.
The current job data has shown that most Americans are concerned about rising inflation. According to some experts, Biden’s Build Back Better agenda might exacerbate the country’s inflation problems.
“We saw in a very real way a slowdown in hiring as a result of the delta variant,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist for the payroll processing company ADP. “There were fewer people going to restaurants. Fewer people traveling. And that had an impact on hiring. It likely had an impact on fewer people deciding to come back into the labor market.”
Approximately 82% of the jobs lost during the pandemic have been recovered so far in the United States. However, according to NPR, 2.4 million people out of work when the coronavirus hit have yet to return.
“We all thought there would be a significant increase in labor supply and it hasn’t happened. So you ask, ‘Why?'” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told a Senate committee this week, “There’s tremendous uncertainty around that, but a big part of it is clearly linked to the ongoing pandemic.”
Many employers want to recruit more workers, but there are not enough applicants. Powell cautioned that further labor shortages might exacerbate supply-chain bottlenecks, which have already driven inflation to its highest level in almost three decades.
Many observers now believe the central bank will raise interest rates sooner than predicted next year to keep a lid on rising prices.
Powell indicated this week that he expects high inflation to last until 2022 and that the US government should stop portraying the situation as “transitory.”
“So I think the word transitory has different meanings to different people,” Powell told Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) during a Senate hearing on Tuesday. “To many, it carries a time, a sense of short-lived. We tend to use it to mean that it won’t leave a permanent mark in the form of higher inflation. I think it’s probably a good time to retire that word and try to explain more clearly what we mean.”
“We will use our tools to make sure that higher inflation does not become entrenched,” Powell added.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, on the other hand, defended the Democrats’ efforts to pass their multi-trillion-dollar social spending bill. Earlier in the week, she said she is “ready to retire the word transitory.”
In an interview with The New York Times this week, top Democrat pollster Brian Stryker cautioned that Democrats “have a problem” heading into the 2022 midterm.
“We’ve got a national branding problem that is probably deeper than a lot of people suspect,” he said. “Our party thinks maybe some things we’re saying aren’t cutting through, but I think it’s much deeper than that.”
“People think we’re more focused on social issues than the economy—and the economy is the No. 1 issue right now,” he continued. “We probably haven’t been as focused on the economy as we should be.”