According to Wednesday, employers added a massive 807,000 jobs in December, signaling a strong end to 2021 and a promising start to 2022, according to private payroll firm ADP.
The figure was more than double the 360,000 expected, and it compares to the 534,000 jobs added in November. Gains were led by the service sector, which added 669,000 jobs, and larger businesses, which added 389,000 positions.
The private sector report comes just two days before the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report for December, including government jobs. Economists anticipate a gain of 400,000, following a somewhat disappointing increase of 210,000 in November.
December’s job market strengthened as the fallout from the delta variant faded and Omicron’s impact had yet to be seen,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP. “Job gains were broad-based, as goods producers added the strongest reading of the year, while service providers dominated growth.”
In December, the job growth increased the fourth-quarter average to 625,000, exceeding the year-ago average of 514,000. According to Richardson while job growth will exceed 6 million in 2021, private-sector payrolls will still be nearly 4 million below pre-COVID-19 levels.
Overall, 2021 is ending on a high note for the job market, with an average of more than 500,000 jobs created each month of the year, despite some large swings in the numbers.
In December, one of the conditions cited by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell when the central bank voted to end its $120-billion-per-month purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities was an improving labor market. The Federal Reserve is now expected to start raising interest rates as early as mid-year.
It is unclear how the rapidly spreading omicron variant of the coronavirus will affect jobs but not jobs from home, but businesses and governments have already reported layoffs due to a lack of staffing. This is especially problematic for schools that have closed in some large districts.
“Fortunately for workers, employers have not been in a rush to cut jobs,” Bankrate Senior Economic Analyst Mark Hamrick wrote ahead of the report’s release. “New claims for unemployment benefits remain near decades-low levels.”
“The question remains whether there will be sufficient workers to fill available positions and how many individuals will be willing to re-join the labor force by working or looking for work,” Hamrick added.
Source: US News