US job losses increase

The US economy lost jobs last month for the first time since April as rising coronavirus cases took a toll.

 

Employers shed 140,000 positions, leaving the jobless rate unchanged at 6.7%.

 

Restaurants and bars led the payroll declines, as new restrictions in some places and cold weather sapped enthusiasm for outdoor dining.

 

The figures were the latest sign that the fragile economic recovery from the pandemic remains at risk.

 

The US has regained about half of the more than 20 million positions lost at the height of the lockdowns this spring.

 

But nearly 11 million people remain out of work, while more than seven million others would like a job, but have given up looking or are unavailable for other reasons, the Labor Department said.

 

The losses have hit low-wage and minority workers hardest, exacerbating divisions that pre-dated the pandemic, while job growth had been slowing even before last month’s decline.

 

The Labor Department said the US had gained more jobs in October and November than previously estimated, reducing some of the sting of Friday’s numbers.

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