The U.S. economy added the fewest workers in six months in November, hindered by a resurgence in new COVID-19 cases that, together with a lack of more government relief money, threatens the recovery from the pandemic recession.
There wasn't much to be merry about in the latest U.S. jobs report.
Hiring slowed sharply in November.
Employers added just 245,000 workers...that's the lowest rate of new hires in six months, according to Labor Department data released Friday.
Throw in November's paltry employment gains - and America has yet to recover around 10 million jobs lost during the health crisis.
The closely watched numbers also showed a surge in the number of Americans who are experiencing long periods of unemployment.
3.9 million: that's the number of Americans reported as being unemployed for 27 weeks or longer.
Another grim number: 6.7 million - that's how many people working part-time but would rather be working full-time.
The slowdown in hiring is the clearest signal of an economic rebound that has stalled.
Economists like Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics are calling on the Federal government to step up.
"Congress and the Trump administration need to come together, sign a piece of legislation that will provide additional help to the economy, so more unemployment insurance, help for renters who haven't been able to make their rent and face eviction when the eviction moratorium ends at the end of the year, more money for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, help to the airlines who obviously are struggling, more money for testing, tracing, PPE, help for food.
And, you know, the SNAP program, we've seen all these long lines for people lining up trying to get help for food.
So I can go on and on and on.
But all those things need funding and they need funding quickly because all of the support the government has provided is now pretty much gone, played out." The pressure is mounting on Congress to come up with another economic stimulus package to prevent the economy from slipping back into recession with new state restrictions put in place as new infections, hospitalizations and death rates skyrocket.
And time is running out.
Jobless assistance for millions of Americans is set to expire just after Christmas.
The nation's unemployment rate now stands at 6.7 percent.