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Economy Loses 140,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Remains at 6.7%

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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:

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.

This blog originally appeared at AFL-CIO on January 11, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Kenneth Quinnell  is a long-time blogger, campaign staffer and political activist whose writings have appeared on AFL-CIO, Daily Kos, Alternet, the Guardian Online, Media Matters for America, Think Progress, Campaign for America’s Future and elsewhere.


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