The unemployment rate and the number of jobs added met in a “head-on collision” this month, according to Mark Hamrick of Bankrate.com.
Hamrick told Newell Normand on WWL Radio that the unemployment rate is once again approaching the low percentage it was enjoying just before the start of the COVID pandemic.
“So the collision was the number of jobs added, at least in the month of December, came in below expectations and even below the previous month. But by the time you add in revisions, it ends up being not quite so negative,” Hamrick said.
The number for December alone was 199,000 jobs added, but once revisions are tallied into the total, the number jumps to 340,000 jobs added.
“And then the unemployment rate gets ever closer to the pre-pandemic low,” Hamrick said.
Before COVID caused an economic shutdown all over the world in March of 2020, the American unemployment rate was at just 3.5%. The final month of 2021 saw the number drop all the way back down to 3.9%.
Hamrick concludes that the numbers show that “the job market is tight, but it’s tight within the context of strange things happening with the pandemic and, of course, the omicron variant.”