The economy saw a loss of 140,000 jobs in December, according to the final jobs report of 2020, highlighting the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the US economy.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the nation’s unemployment rate remained at 6.7% in the final month of a tumultuous year.
“Between the human and economic tolls taken by the pandemic, these are some of the darkest hours of this soon-to-be yearlong tragedy,” he added.
As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office in the coming days, some are paralleling the current economic crisis to when he first became Vice President in 2008.
“It’s eerily reminiscent of when Joe Biden took office as vice president facing a significant jobs challenge,” senior fellow at the The Century Foundation Andrew Stettner told the news outlet. “I think they’re going to have a lot of urgency to do something early on.”
American households have borne the brunt of the economic fallout as businesses were forced to close as transmission of the virus abruptly changed our daily lives.
Congress only recently released direct cash payments of $600 for individuals after months of gridlock and blocked bipartisan negotiations among leadership.
For Black Americans, who make up a large portion of the essential labor force unable to work from home, the unemployment rate was 13.2% in August of 2020 after reaching a high of 16.6% in May. The food and hospitality industry has seen a loss of more than 11 million jobs as a direct result of the pandemic.
The incoming Biden administration has discussed getting financial relief to Americans early on in his presidency. With the help of a new, Democratic-controlled Senate, that relief may be actualized for millions in need.
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