Outside of those areas, employment was weak or job losses mounted.
Construction companies hired just 1,000 people. Although home sales have surged during the pandemic, builders also face a shortage of skilled employees and they don’t want to invest too aggressively until the economy makes a broader recovery.
Bars and restaurants shed 17,000 jobs — the first decline since the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April. With COVID-19 cases rising, they now face renewed restrictions across the country on how long they can be open and how many customers are allowed.
Retailers, another industry hard hit by the pandemic, cut almost 35,000 jobs in November. Part of the decline reflected fewer seasonal hires in anticipation of less in-store holiday spending as new government restrictions mean fewer customers willing to venture out.
Government employment sank by 99,000 last month, including the loss of 93,000 temporary workers used to help conduct the 2020 U.S. Census. State and local employment also fell again.
Hiring in October and September was little changed, revised figures show. The increase in new jobs in October was reduced by 28,000 to 610,000. Job gains in September were raised by 39,000 to 711,000.
Big picture: The economy is likely to make a strong recovery next year if a slew of coronavirus vaccines prove effective, but it’s going to experience more bumps before it gets there.
The recent slowdown in hiring and threat of a new round of layoffs owing to the coronavirus are the latest bumps. How big they get —- and whether it derails the recovery — will depend on whether the virus is brought under control soon and if Washington approves more aid for workers and businesses.
What they are saying? “The American labor market hit a major speedbump in November due to the second wave of the coronavirus,” said senior economist Sal Guatieri of BMO Capital Markets.
“With the significant drop in private job creation, prospects for a continued strong recovery in consumer spending may be at risk,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. “This is a wake up call for the Congress and should support more Federal stimulus.”
Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.10% and S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.04% rose in Friday trades. The weak jobs report probably increases the odds of another federal aid package for the economy soon.