CUNA Senior Economist Dawit Kebede, PhD, issued the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s November Jobs Report:
“The labor market added fewer than expected new jobs in November. The unemployment rate, however, has shown a marked decline to 4.2%, a sign of continued recovery.
“Labor force participation has increased for the first time in several months, showing a return to work by some who opted out due to COVID fears or lack of childcare. Emergence of the new variant Omicron, which is more transmissible than Delta, could derail progress in labor market and exacerbate supply chain disruptions if cases continue to rise.
“As inflation continues to rise, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has indicated that he is open to ending the large-scale asset purchase program sooner than anticipated. Although the economy is not yet at maximum employment, a declining unemployment rate is a step in the right direction to fast track those changes.”