On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report for December 2021, which showed the U.S. economy regained 18.8 million jobs of the 20 million jobs that were lost at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.
More than 7 million of the jobs that have been regained since the start of the pandemic were added in the last year alone, according to the bureau's report. The U.S. economy has been steadily adding jobs over the past year as the country continues to dig out from the devastating toll taken by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bureau found that the country added 199,000 jobs in December, which was below estimates, while revising its previous jobs report numbers to add 39,000 jobs to its November 2021 report and 102,000 jobs to its October 2021 report.
The report, which was recorded before U.S. case numbers surged due to the virus's highly contagious Omicron variant, also showed a decrease in the unemployment rate from 4.2 percent to 3.9 percent between November 2021 and December 2021. Unemployment, which stood at 6.3 percent when Biden took office, declined more in 2021 than in any previously recorded year.
The latest jobs report comes after the U.S. Department of Labor revealed on Tuesday that 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November, setting a new record. The passage of legislation like the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law in March by President Biden with only Democratic votes in the House and Senate, provided benefits to millions of workers and families affected by the pandemic.
Experts have said that financial support has allowed workers to negotiate for better pay and working conditions as the economy has improved. Much of the turnover has been concentrated in low-paying jobs, as the tight labor market has given workers more leverage to seek better job opportunities.
"This Great Resignation story is really more about lower-wage workers finding new opportunities in a reopening labor market and seizing them," Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told The New York Times.
Reprinted with permission from American Independent