The pandemic will likely continue to weaken the economy through the winter and perhaps early spring.(AFP file photo. Representative image)
The pandemic will likely continue to weaken the economy through the winter and perhaps early spring.(AFP file photo. Representative image)

US loses 140,000 jobs, first monthly loss since spring

Friday’s figures from the Labor Department suggest that employers have rehired roughly all the workers they can afford to after having laid off more than 22 million in the spring — the worst such loss on record. With consumer spending barely growing over the past few months, most companies have little incentive to hire.
By Associated Press| Posted by: Harshit Sabarwal | Washington
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 09:22 PM IST

US employers shed jobs last month for the first time since April, cutting 140,000 positions, clear evidence that the economy is faltering as the viral pandemic tightens its grip on consumers and businesses.

At the same time, the unemployment rate stayed at 6.7%, the first time it hasn’t fallen since April.

Friday’s figures from the Labor Department suggest that employers have rehired roughly all the workers they can afford to after having laid off more than 22 million in the spring — the worst such loss on record. With consumer spending barely growing over the past few months, most companies have little incentive to hire. The economy still has 9.9 million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic sent it sinking into a deep recession nearly a year ago.

The pandemic will likely continue to weaken the economy through the winter and perhaps early spring. But many economists, along with the Federal Reserve’s policymakers, say they think that once the coronavirus vaccines are more widely distributed, a broad recovery should take hold in the second half of the year. The incoming Biden administration, along with a now fully Democratic-controlled House and Senate, is also expected to push rescue aid and spending measures that could accelerate growth.

For now, the renewed surge in virus cases, as well as cold weather, has caused millions of consumers to avoid eating out, shopping and traveling. Re-imposed business restrictions have shut down numerous restaurants, bars, and other venues.

Economists at TD Securities estimate that more than half the states have restricted gatherings to 10 or fewer people, up from about a quarter in September. New York City and California, among others, placed strict new limits on restaurants last month.

In recent months, retailers have been especially hurt by the slump in consumer spending. Debit and credit card data tracked by JPMorgan Chase, based on 30 million accounts, shows that Americans slowed their purchases during the holiday shopping season. Such spending was 6% lower in December compared with a year ago. That was worse than in October, when card spending was down just 2% from the previous year.

Restaurant traffic has also dropped, according to the reservations website OpenTable. Seated dining is down 60% this week compared with a year ago, much worse than two months earlier, when they were down about 35%.

The $900 billion financial aid package that Congress enacted last month should also help propel a recovery, economists say. It will provide a $300-a-week federal jobless benefit on top of an average weekly state benefit of about $320. In addition, millions of Americans stand to receive $600 payments, and the Treasury Department said Thursday that 8 million of those payments were going out this week.

Late Wednesday, Goldman Sachs upgraded its forecast for economic growth this year to a robust 6.4% from its previous estimate of 5.9%. Its upgrade was based in part on the expectation that the Biden administration will implement more stimulus.

Still, for now, about 11 million people are officially unemployed. Millions more have stopped looking for work, either because they’re discouraged about their prospects or worried about contracting the coronavirus, and aren’t counted as unemployed.

Friday’s monthly jobs report, the last of Donald Trump’s presidency, shows that the nation has 3 million fewer jobs than it did four years earlier. That makes Trump the first president since Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), early in the Great Depression, to preside over a net loss of jobs.

All the job losses during the Trump administration occurred after the pandemic struck. Before then, the unemployment rate had fallen to a 50-year low of 3.5%. Still, Trump had pledged to create 25 million jobs in four years.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Imports during April-February this fiscal also dipped 23 per cent to USD 340.88 billion.(Bloomberg)
Imports during April-February this fiscal also dipped 23 per cent to USD 340.88 billion.(Bloomberg)

Exports dip marginally in February; trade deficit widens to USD 12.88 billion

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:59 PM IST
Imports grew 6.98 per cent to USD 40.55 billion during the month, the data showed.
Close
According to the payroll data released last Saturday, net new enrolments with EPFO grew by 24 per cent to 12.54 lakh in December compared to the same month in 2019.(HT Photo)
According to the payroll data released last Saturday, net new enrolments with EPFO grew by 24 per cent to 12.54 lakh in December compared to the same month in 2019.(HT Photo)

EPFO may declare interest rates on EPF deposits for 2020-21 on March 4

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:24 PM IST
  • In March 2020, EPFO had reduced the interest rate on provident fund deposits to a seven-year low of 8.5% for 2019-20. The interest rate was 8.65% in 2018-19 and 8.55% for 2017-18. The interest rate was 8.65% in 2016-17.
Close
Reliance Jio bought <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>57,122.65 crore worth of spectrum while Vodafone Idea Ltd picked <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1,993.40 crore worth of airwaves.(Priyanka Parashar/ HT File Photo)
Reliance Jio bought 57,122.65 crore worth of spectrum while Vodafone Idea Ltd picked 1,993.40 crore worth of airwaves.(Priyanka Parashar/ HT File Photo)

Spectrum auction ends with 77,815 cr bids; Jio top buyer with 57,122 cr

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:14 PM IST
Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash said 855.60 MHz of spectrum was bought for 77,814.80 crore in the two-day auction.
Close
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.(PTI File Photo)
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.(PTI File Photo)

Need to ensure that startups are not afraid of failure, says Piyush Goyal

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:01 PM IST
The minister also said the need of the hour is to engage more with rural India also as there is a lot of talent lying there.
Close
India could consume 215.24 million tonnes of refined fuels in the financial year 2021/22 compared to the revised estimate of 195.94 million tonnes consumed in 2020/21, data posted on the website of Petroleum Planning Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed. (Representative Image)(Amal KS/ Hindustan Times)
India could consume 215.24 million tonnes of refined fuels in the financial year 2021/22 compared to the revised estimate of 195.94 million tonnes consumed in 2020/21, data posted on the website of Petroleum Planning Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed. (Representative Image)(Amal KS/ Hindustan Times)

Fuel demand projected to rise 9.8% in year to March 2022

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 05:54 PM IST
Higher expectation of fuel consumption, a proxy for oil demand, points to a sharp recovery in industrial activity in the economy hit hard by the pandemic.
Close
The offer includes a reservation for subscription by eligible employees.(AP/ Representational)
The offer includes a reservation for subscription by eligible employees.(AP/ Representational)

Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences files 700-cr IPO papers

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 05:38 PM IST
Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) is one of the largest corporate healthcare groups in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in terms of the number of patients treated and treatments offered.
Close
Around 50,000 units in the plastics processing sector, which offer employment to about 50 lakh workers in the country, are already operating below 50 per cent of their capacity(HT image)
Around 50,000 units in the plastics processing sector, which offer employment to about 50 lakh workers in the country, are already operating below 50 per cent of their capacity(HT image)

Plastic industry urges govt to streamline raw material supply

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 05:22 PM IST
The plastics processing sector has sought immediate government intervention to ensure raw material supply by Indian petrochemical companies and free imports of raw material that are not produced in the country.
Close
The move comes at a time when India is keen to woo foreign investment in its insurance sector.(REUTERS)
The move comes at a time when India is keen to woo foreign investment in its insurance sector.(REUTERS)

RBI restricting banks from raising stakes in insurance firms: Report

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 05:01 PM IST
The RBI wants banks to focus on their main areas of business instead of locking away capital in non-core sectors.
Close
Representational Image.
Representational Image.

Delhi-based man arrested for GST fraud of 38.91 crore

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 04:47 PM IST
The person had created a fake firm under his name and was linked to a multilayered network of 38 other fictitious entities to dupe the government by claiming fake ITC through bogus bills, said the finance ministry in a statement
Close
A Bharti Airtel office building is pictured in Gurugram on the outskirts of New Delhi, India.(Reuters)
A Bharti Airtel office building is pictured in Gurugram on the outskirts of New Delhi, India.(Reuters)

Bharti Airtel buys airwaves worth $2.6 billion at spectrum auction

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 04:03 PM IST
The carrier, led by billionaire Sunil Mittal, acquired 355.45 megahertz airwaves across multiple spectrum bands for 186.99 billion rupees ($2.55 billion), according to a statement from the company Tuesday.
Close
On the Sensex chart, M&amp;M, NTPC, Bajaj Auto, Tech Mahindra, TCS and Maruti emerged as top gainers.(Mint)
On the Sensex chart, M&M, NTPC, Bajaj Auto, Tech Mahindra, TCS and Maruti emerged as top gainers.(Mint)

Sensex ends 447 points up, Nifty settles above 14,900

UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 04:04 PM IST
  • The 30-share index swung nearly 633 points during the session, before ending at 50,296.89, showing a rise of 447.05 points or 0.90 per cent.
Close
Mukesh Ambani's wealth up 24 per cent to 83 billion dollars on the back of a surge in value of energy and telecom giant Reliance.(Reuters)
Mukesh Ambani's wealth up 24 per cent to 83 billion dollars on the back of a surge in value of energy and telecom giant Reliance.(Reuters)

With 209 billionaires, India ranks third in 10th Hurun Global Rich List 2021

ANI, Mumbai, Maharashtra
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 03:09 PM IST
"Asia has, for the first time in perhaps hundreds of years, more billionaires than the rest of the world combined. Wealth creation is moving to Asia," said Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf.
Close
India, according to the Forum, needs ingenious global partnerships and heavy investments from new partners of growth which can only happen when the government creates a more enabling tax regime and a progressive personal taxation structure. (Representational Image)(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
India, according to the Forum, needs ingenious global partnerships and heavy investments from new partners of growth which can only happen when the government creates a more enabling tax regime and a progressive personal taxation structure. (Representational Image)(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Foreign Investors Forum urge relaxation of tax norms for foreign nationals India

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 03:01 PM IST
Under the current Income Tax provisions, the global income of foreigners is taxed if they stay in India for more than 182 days in a year, thus increasing their personal tax liability in the country.
Close
Arvind Panagariya, former vice-chairman of NITI Aayog in New Delhi, India.(HT Photo)
Arvind Panagariya, former vice-chairman of NITI Aayog in New Delhi, India.(HT Photo)

Indian economy on 'upswing,' says ex-NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 02:53 PM IST
In an interview with PTI, Panagariya also said that the government's plans for increased spending comes in the backdrop of pro-growth reforms.
Close
More than 4 in 5 (86 per cent) Indians stated that they were negatively impacted by the pandemic while 9 in 10 said they were affected by the coronavirus pandemic in terms of job retrenchment, pay cuts, and reduced working hours.(Shutterstock)
More than 4 in 5 (86 per cent) Indians stated that they were negatively impacted by the pandemic while 9 in 10 said they were affected by the coronavirus pandemic in terms of job retrenchment, pay cuts, and reduced working hours.(Shutterstock)

85% of Indian women miss out on a raise, promotion because of gender: Report

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 02:48 PM IST
More than 7 in 10 working women and working mothers feel that managing familial responsibilities often come in their way of career development, the LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2021 shows.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP