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Special Report

Employment Research Brief

December 2021

Record Year for Job Growth Ending on Slower Note as Labor Slack Tightens

Lackluster employment growth a sign of tight labor market. Employers added 210,000 personnel in November, below this year’s monthly average of 555,000 jobs. Part of the slowdown was due to modest onboarding in the leisure and hospitality sector. While accounting for roughly 40 percent of all gains made since April 2020, the sector was only responsible for about 10 percent of November’s job creation. Moving forward, a sustained period of elevated employment growth is unlikely. While there are 3.9 million fewer jobs than in February 2020, about 2.4 million people have left the labor force, resulting in a low unemployment rate of 4.2 percent. Since 2000, fewer than four years have been spent with tighter joblessness. The potential to unlock more labor power after the pandemic remains, however. About 1.2 million people were unable to look for work last month due to the pandemic.

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