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Special Report

Employment Research Brief

January 2021


Renewed shutdowns end hiring streak. After seven consecutive months of employment growth and the creation of over 12.4 million jobs, employers shed 140,000 positions in December. A rise in COVID-19 infections and the resulting lockdown precautions added new burdens on businesses already challenged by the delayed stimulus, leading to staff cuts in critically impacted sectors. While over 6 million vaccine doses have been administered in the U.S. so far, last month’s hiring regression underlines the persistent costs of the health crisis. Entering the first month of 2021, the recently passed $900 billion stimulus package should help beleaguered individuals and businesses meet short-term financial obligations until a vast majority of people can be inoculated.

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