According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 10.7 million unemployed persons in the U.S. in December, as total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 140,000 and the unemployment rate remained at 6.7%. For a pre-pandemic comparison, the unemployment rate was at 3.5% and there were 5.7 million unemployed persons in February 2020
As CNN reported, “Women accounted for all the job losses” in December, specifically noting that “Blacks and Latinas lost jobs in December, while white women made significant gains.”
The bureau noted that there were job gains in professional and business services, retail trade, construction, transportation and warehousing, healthcare, manufacturing and wholesale trade, but these were outweighed by job losses in leisure and hospitality, private education. government and “other services.” In fact, the 498,000 lost jobs in leisure and hospitality outpaced the total jobs gained from all industries that experienced growth combined (482,000).
According to a release from the bureau, “The decline in payroll employment reflects the recent increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and efforts to contain the pandemic.”
The bureau also reported that there were increases in the number of people who worked from home and the number of people who couldn’t work due to lost business or company closures in December compared with November.