On Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its monthly jobs report for November 2020.
Russell Weaver, an economic geographer with Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) Buffalo Co-Lab says businesses in New York, especially in the retail and food services industries, are still struggling to rehire employees and new unemployment claims are continuing to trend upward.
“The consensus among economists is that Friday’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will show that around 500,000 jobs were gained during the month of November, resulting in an unemployment rate of around 6.8% – down slightly from the 6.9% rate recorded in October. This slow pace of growth continues the trend of stalled recovery that began to take shape in September. Adding 500,000 jobs last month still leaves the economy with a deficit of nearly 10 million jobs relative to the start of the pandemic, when more than 22 million jobs were lost during March and April alone. The initial shock of those March and April losses will continue to reverberate in Friday’s report, which is set to show continued growth in long-term unemployment.
“Meanwhile, with COVID cases surging in New York state and throughout the nation, new weekly unemployment claims are once again trending upward, as state and local governments move toward tighter restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. Dozens of layoff notices submitted to the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification system between late October and the end of November show that businesses, especially in retail and food services, are still struggling to rehire employees and sustain existing staffing levels.
“Renewed bipartisan conversations around a second stimulus package, coupled with promising developments on a COVID-19 vaccine, are reasons for tempered optimism. However, ushering in a faster and more inclusive recovery demands more than just conversations. A comprehensive stimulus that centers the needs of workers and working families – through direct support to households, extended unemployment benefits, farther reaching evictions and utility shutoff prevention, and debt and housing cost relief, among other measures – is sorely needed.”
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