The Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls report for November 2020 will be released on December 4. The news has been good the last few months, as approximately 12 million jobs were created from May through October, and initial unemployment claims have declined from an average of 5 million per week in April to 800,000 per week in October. But the recovery is not complete, as the gains have not made up for the losses in March and April, when the economy shed a total of 22.2 million jobs. Unemployment claims ticked higher last week to 778,000, and continuing claims are above 6.5 million. That's out of a total workforce of 160 million. Continuing claims have been declining since peaking in April, but jobs growth has slowed since July, as numerous states are again tightening restrictions with COVID-19 cases surging. Our forecast for nonfarm payrolls growth for November is 625,000. That's a decline from the October level but would still contribute to reducing the unemployment rate, assuming the labor force participation rate remains steady.
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