Work Weakness

US employers shed 140,000 jobs in December. Though the first employment losses since April, this doesn’t suggest an economy heading into recession. These losses were entirely lockdown based, with almost 500,000 losses in Leisure and Hospitality: the California lockdown probably cost 600,000 jobs. Elsewhere, job growth was surprisingly solid, and Congress’ pandemic aid relief will prevent a vicious cycle. However, Covid-19 is raging, making 21Q1 an economically fraught quarter.

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