Numbers from the government reveal that December brought a hopeful sign of recovery from the economic blows of the pandemic. The US added 216,000 new jobs in December, exceeding many predictions and showing that the country is continuing to climb out of the job losses that occurred this last year. This is good news for many struggling to make ends meet in the wake of the crisis, though much more has to be done to bring the economy back to pre-pandemic levels.
The new jobs were focused in the sectors most affected by the virus, such as leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and retail industries. While this is undoubtedly a good sign, job gains are still at a decrease as compared to when the pandemic began, with the economy having regained only 63.4% of all lost jobs.
Still, experts suggest that other indicators of economic strength should also be taken into account while assessing the situation. Unemployment claims that have been filed, for example, have been in steady decline, down to 787,000 in the week ending on December 26th. Additionally, consumer spending has risen and notable stock market gains were seen in December as well.
Experts say that it is too soon to tell if the recent job gains mark the beginning of a continuing positive trend, with the stimulus bill that was passed last month expected to provide a boost to the economy. With President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package also making its way through the process, it is possible that things could continue to improve and help many more people get back on their feet.
While the US added 216,000 jobs in December, the need for further economic recovery is still pressing. These job gains will hopefully be indicative of a larger recovery movement that will enable more job growth in the near future. Only time will tell if the uplifting data seen in December will be the start of a strong 2021.