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November jobs report: U.S. economy adds 245K jobs

Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi, Myles Udland, Julie Hyman, and Emily McCormick break down the November jobs report.

Video Transcript

MYLES UDLAND: Emily McCormick joins us now for more details on this report, Emily.

EMILY MCCORMICK: Myles, a big miss in this morning's jobs report, especially in that headline payrolls figure. We saw the US economy adding just 245,000 non-farm payrolls in November. Now, that was the smallest number of jobs added since April's record decline during the height of stay in place orders. Now, consensus economists have been looking for about 460,000 jobs added for the month of November, and we did also see October's payrolls figures downwardly revised to about 610,000. So overall, even though this was the seventh straight monthly increase we saw in those non-farm payrolls, the US economy is still about 9.8 million jobs short of where it stood in February.

Now, we did get that staggering decline of 22 million jobs between March and April alone, so still a ways to go here before fully stemming that decline. Now, taking a look at those November payrolls specifically, the big contributors to the declines came, or to the miss rather, came from government and retail employment. We saw government employment down for a third straight month as another 93,000 temporary workers the 2020 census were let go. And then in retail trade industries, we saw 35,000 jobs lost on net. Now, we also saw payroll growth slowing but holding in positive territory in other industries, including construction, business services and leisure and hospitality.

And now turning to the unemployment rate, we did see that tick down to 6.7% and matching consensus expectations. That was still nearly double the pre-pandemic jobless rate, but well below the pandemic era peak of 14.7% we saw in April. Now, all of this, of course, coming as lawmakers in Washington continue to try and reach another agreement on a stimulus package that could provide additional unemployment benefits and support to businesses to keep employees on their payrolls.

Now, we did see this morning Macro Strategist Peter Tchir of Academy Securities saying in an email in his words, the only thing that matters about today's non-farm payrolls report is whether it increases the likelihood of a stimulus deal getting done during the lame duck session. In his mind, this report does improve those odds given the big mess. So overall, this jobs report showing a slowdown again in the labor markets recovery into the final months of this year.

MYLES UDLAND: All right, Emily McCormick with the latest on today's jobs report. Interesting commentary there from Peter Tchir, guys, we were talking as we came on the air, you know, just before 8:30 this morning about how it would seem, at least in the view of some, that you would need to have a negative number maybe to get that kind of motivation to really get lawmakers to think any differently about this report. And, Brian Sozzi, another number in here that you flagged to us before we came on the air, permanent job losers up slightly. Permanent job losers now the same level in November that it was back in September, but it's almost 3x the number that we saw back in November 2019. 3.7 million permanent job losers November 2020. 1.4 million permanent job losers November 2019.

BRIAN SOZZI: And that's a big problem, Myles. We've talked about it at length, and I remember talking to it with Greg Daco, an economist over at Oxford Economics, really one of the great guys out there covering economics on the street. This is what you call, this is economic scarring in its finest absolutely ugliest form. And I keep coming back to this in terms of this stat, does a stimulus check for these 3.7 million folks, does it really truly help?

The bottom line is they need to be retrained. They need to be retrained for the jobs that will power the post, the recovery after the worst of the pandemic. So that's why I think it really becomes important after government finishes this stimulus plan when it comes out, start thinking about an infrastructure plan. Very, very critical.

MYLES UDLAND: As we all know, it's always infrastructure week here in the US. It seems like we had one--


MYLES UDLAND: --for about 208 weeks during the Trump experiment.