U.S. Economy Added 245,000 Jobs in November, Lowest Since COVID Recovery Began

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The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falling short of the 440,000 job gain that economists had predicted.

As the economy takes a hit from another round of shutdowns amid a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases, the U.S. recorded its lowest monthly total of jobs added since the recovery began. In October, the economy added more than twice as many jobs, with 610,000 positions gained.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate met economists’ expectations, falling to 6.7 percent from 6.9 percent in October, the data show.

The economy has recovered 12.3 million of the 22 million jobs lost in the first two months of the pandemic, though there are still 10.7 million Americans unemployed, compared to 5.8 million in February.

The release of the final jobs report of the year comes as the U.S. continues to set a number of grim coronavirus-related records. On Thursday, the U.S. set a record for new daily coronavirus cases with 213,000 new cases reported. More than 2,500 COVID-19 deaths were reported for the third consecutive day — the deadliest stretch the country has seen since the pandemic began.