Economy Lost Jobs In December But Retail Staffed Up

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Commerce, retail helped hold the line on the unemployment rate in December.

The bureau stated that total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7%. The decline in payroll employment reflects recent increases in COVID-19 cases and moves to contain the pandemic.

In December, gains in professional and business services, retail trade and construction jobs partially offset losses in leisure and hospitality as well as private education. The retail trade added 121,000 jobs in December, with nearly half of the growth occurring in general merchandise stores such as warehouse clubs and supercenters, the bureau noted.