November employment data came in with the unemployment rate slightly declining by 0.2% to 6.7%. The modest decline was driven by a weaker than expected change in nonfarm payrolls, which increased 245K, which was well below expectations of a 460K gain. The weakness was largely driven by the services sector as case counts surged, which also may cause a much weaker December report as well.
Weekly initial jobless claims improved a bit to 712K but remain over the 700K level we have yet to dip below since COVID started.
As COVID cases surge, restrictions tighten, and recovery slows, eyes are turning to D.C. as negotiations of the details and amounts in the Phase 4 relief bill were resurrected with administration and Congressional leaders pushing to get something done.
ISM manufacturing dipped from last month, but stayed well into expansionary territory in November, at 57.5, Markit’s manufacturing survey stayed flat at 56.7.