Economy Loses Jobs for the First Time Since April

Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in December for the first time since April. The unemployment rate remains unchanged at 6.7% (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • NO CHANGE: Both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons (10.7 million) were unchanged. While both measures are much lower than the highs seen in April, they are near twice the levels we saw in February
  • UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: Teenagers (16%) and Hispanics (9.3%) saw their unemployment rate increase. Asians (5.9%), Whites (6%), adult women (6.3%), adult men (6.4%), and Blacks (9.9%) showed little change.
  • TEMPORARY: The number of persons on temporary layoff increased by 277,000 to 3.0 million. This is down from a high of 18.0 million in April but is 2.3 million higher than in February

Interesting that in December telework is still growing. According to the household survey, 23.7% of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic. This is actually in increase from the 21.8% we saw in November