Amid Massive New Job Dropoff, Construction Remains Strong

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Robison Wells

After a record 6,100,000 new jobs added to the US economy in October, November saw a massive plunge, gaining only 245,000 jobs, which is the slowest month’s gain in six months.

“The pace of improvement is clearly slowing in the face of an uptick in the intensity of Covid-19 cases,” said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Certain segments of the economy, particularly in-person service sector jobs, are going to be slower to come back from this environment.”

But all is not bleak, especially for the construction sector, which added 27,000 jobs last month. Construction job gains were followed closely by warehousing.

“A notable bright spot was the gain in construction jobs in the residential sector, another sign that the strong housing market continues to lead the overall economy,” said Fratantoni.

On the industrial side, warehousing and storage accounted for 37,000 positions as e-commerce continued making gains. Transportation and warehousing added 145,000 jobs. Meanwhile, brick-and-mortar retailers struggled, posting losses of 35,000 jobs.

Other sectors may have gained more jobs total than construction, including leisure and hospitality, adding 31,000 positions. Still, the job sector as a whole is in bad shape, down 3.4 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic.

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