Despite a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant at the beginning of the year, 2022 is proving to be off to a stronger start for the U.S. job market than what economists across the country predicted. Over 467,000 jobs were added in January, more than twice what was expected, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released today. The unemployment rate remained close to December 2021’s level, at 4 percent.
The BLS also adjusted job growth numbers from late 2021, reporting improved numbers for the last two months of the year. December’s jobs totaled 510,000 after being initially reported as a gain of 199,000. November also increased to 647,000 from the previously reported 249,000. To many economists’ surprise, the positive changes brought last year’s total to 6.7 million, making 2021 the biggest single-year gain for added jobs in U.S. history.
As the U.S. approaches two years since the beginning of the pandemic in February 2020, the unemployment rate and the number of jobless Americans are slowly but surely returning to pre-pandemic levels. Nonetheless, American workers are still leaving their jobs at astonishing levels during the Great Resignation. The number of workers who left positions increased to 952,000 in January, after a decrease in the prior month.
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