Weekly filings for jobless benefits hit the highest level since July as the pandemic’s resurgence batters the service industry.
U.S. employment fell by 140,000 in December as virus cases surged. Leisure and hospitality businesses were hit hard, but some industries showed growth.
Employers remain cautious about hiring, one economist says, “but the resurgence of the virus is really the main culprit.”
“It’s going to be a challenging few months,” one economist says. A new pandemic relief bill from Congress could soften the blow.
November’s hiring of 245,000, the fifth straight monthly easing in new employment, reinforces calls for action on a fresh relief package.
The decline was the first in three weeks, despite a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. Economists warn of more job losses ahead.