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US labour market cannot be healthy with rising numbers of sick people

Last Friday (January 7, 2022), the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their latest labour market data – Employment Situation Summary – December 2021 – which reported a total payroll employment rise of only 199,000 jobs in December and a 0.3 points decline in the official unemployment rate to 3.9 per cent, while participation was unchanged at 61.9 per cent. While the US labour market is still creating work – it is doing so at a declining rate and there are unequal patterns across the industrial sectors. The US labour market is still 3,572 thousand jobs short from where it was at the end of February 2020, which helps to explain why there are no fundamental wage pressures emerging. Any analyst who is claiming the US economy is close to full employment hasn’t looked at the data. The failure to introduce a renewed fiscal stimulus will definitely leave the economy worse off, especially with the renewed virus onslaught from Omicron.

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