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December jobs report: Employers add 199,000 jobs, unemployment falls to 3.9%

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Posted at 5:56 AM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 09:38:45-05

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added a modest 199,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate fell sharply, at a time when businesses are struggling to fill jobs, with many Americans remaining reluctant to return to the workforce.

The Labor Department also said Friday that the nation's unemployment rate fell to a healthy 3.9% from 4.2% in November. Though unemployment continues to fall, the U.S. in December added jobs at a slower rate than it did in November, when the economy added 210,000 jobs.

Friday's report fell short of analyst projections. CNBC reports that forecasters expected the U.S. had added 422,000 jobs in the month of December.

Though the highly-contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 began spreading in the U.S. in December, CNBC spoke to forecasters that said the new strain likely did not have an impact on Friday's report. However, omicron will likely play a major role in January's job report, which will be released early next month.

President Joe Biden is expected to address the December jobs report Friday at 10:45 a.m. ET from the White House.