By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter
The U.S. economy added 199,000 new jobs in December — far short of the 422,000 jobs projected by economists.
The leisure, hospitality and tourism industries added 53,000 jobs but the sector is down 1.2 million workers from February 2020 — before the COVID pandemic started.
The construction sector added 22,000 jobs in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is still down 88,000 positions from pre-pandemic levels.
The economy continues to be challenged by the pandemic — including the recent rise in cases as well as vaccine mandates resulting in some workers leaving jobs or being fired.
That includes a record number of workers quitting their jobs in recent months, according to BLS.
BLS reported the U.S. unemployment rate is 3.9% down from 4.2% in November.
Economists expected a 4.1% U.S. jobless rate.