US private sector employment rose more than expected in December. According to the monthly report prepared by Automatic Data Processing (Adp), the agency that deals with payroll preparation, 235,000 jobs were created last month compared to November, while forecasts were for the creation of 153,000 work. Wages grew 7.3% year-on-year, down 0.3 percentage points from the previous month. The sector hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the hospitality and entertainment sector, reported a growth of 123,000 jobs and a 10.1% wage increase. Overall, the service industry gained 213,000 jobs; in the production of goods, gained 22,000 jobs. “The labor market is strong, but fragmented,” commented ADP’s Nella Richardson. The commerce, transport and utilities sector has in fact lost 24,000 jobs, the natural resources and mining sector has lost 14,000, the financial activities 12,000. Virtually all of the new jobs were recorded by small and medium-sized companies, which together created 386,000 jobs, while companies with more than 500 employees lost 151,000 jobs.
Unemployment benefits down
Meanwhile, the number of workers filing for unemployment benefits for the first time is also declining: in the week ending Dec. 31, it fell by 19,000 to 204,000 (seasonally adjusted), the Labor Department reported; expectations were for a figure at 223,000. The previous week’s figure was revised from 225,000 to 223,000. In the midst of the pandemic, the US had seen a peak of 6.9 million new requests weekly. The 4-week average is 213,750, down 6,750 from the previous week’s average. The total number of workers receiving unemployment benefits – for the week ending December 24, the latest for which data is available – decreased by 24,000 to 1,694,000 (seasonally adjusted).
Trade balance, deficit decreased by 21%
On Thursday 5 January, data on the US trade balance deficit also came out which, in November, decreased by 21% compared to the previous month to 61.5 billion dollars, against expectations for a figure of 63.1 billion dollars; the Commerce Department has announced. In November, exports fell 2% to $251.9 billion, imports fell 6.4% to $313.4 billion. In March, a record deficit of 109.8 billion was recorded. Since the beginning of the year, the deficit has increased by 120.1 billion, or 15.7%, compared to the same period of 2021; exports increased by 439.4 billion, 18.9%; imports grew by 559.5 billion, or 18.1%.
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Usa: +235,000 private sector jobs in December, above expectations
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