CUNA Senior Economist Dawit Kebede issued the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s December Jobs Report:
“The labor market added fewer jobs than expected in December. However, the unemployment rate continued to decline, falling below 4%, which indicates a strong recovery. Overall, the economy added on average 537,000 jobs per month in 2021.
“The employment data was collected before the Omicron variant blanketed the nation, turning entire areas into hot spots for community spread. Hence, the variant -- although less severe than Delta -- could temporarily derail progress in subsequent months.
“A 3.9% unemployment rate is good news for the Federal Reserve who is on track to end its stimulus by March in order to fight inflation.”