Jamie Dupree

Hiring slows as U.S. jobless rate ticks down

U.S. businesses again hired fewer Americans for work in November, with 245,000 jobs added by the U.S. economy last month, the fifth straight month where that figure declined, as nearly 10 million workers are still out of jobs because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The latest figures from the Labor Department showed the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent in November - well down from a high of 14.7 percent in April - but monthly job gains continue to slow.

The 245,000 jobs added in November was far short of the 610,000 jobs from October.

Over 22 million jobs were lost during the initial arrival of the virus outbreak in March and April, as businesses shut down around the nation in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

While there were large job gains from May to August, the pace of the recovery has clearly slowed, as some 9.8 million Americans remain without work.

The U6 rate - considered the broadest measure of joblessness - is still at 12 percent. It hit a high of 22.8 percent in April.

The Labor Force Participation Rate - which gives an insight into how many people are actually working - ticked back to 61.5 percent in November. It was 63.4 percent when the year began.

The latest jobs report came as the Congress remains locked in an over six month tussle about extra aid for small businesses and individuals hit by the virus outbreak.

Democrats this week dropped their long standing demands for several trillion dollars in relief, embracing a new $908 billion package of aid put forward by a bipartisan group in the House and Senate.

While there were talks involving Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader McConnell this week, it’s not clear if that will produce a deal before a holiday break on Capitol Hill.

Jamie Dupree

Jamie Dupree, CMG Washington News Bureau

Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau

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