On Friday, the Labor Department issued the December jobs report, and as usual, “experts” were off the mark once again. Employers added just 199,000 jobs in December, a total that is less than half what economists had expected.

Experts had anticipated roughly 400,000 jobs.

Republicans were quick to castigate the Biden administration for the poor numbers.

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Gains And Losses

Some of the biggest gains in job creation were in the leisure and hospitality industry which saw a gain of 53,000 jobs. Professional and business services also saw the biggest job creation numbers at 43,000 jobs.

The experts were quick to lay the blame on COVID, more specifically the Omicron variant, and ongoing supply chain issues which apparently have not been sorted out.

CUNA Mutual Group Chief Economist Steve Rick said, “It is not at all surprising that this month’s jobs report fell short given the current turbulence and potential impact from the COVID-19 Omicron variant.”

Rick also added rising inflation into the mix as well adding, “Rising inflation and the ongoing supply chain crisis could have major implications for the economy as the winter progresses.”

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A Truly Bizarre Labor Market

The end of 2021 has the American labor market as easily being one of the most unusual and perhaps even abnormal on record. While there are a record number of job openings, the jobs aren’t being filled.

Average monthly job gains are coming in at around 500,000, but more Americans are deciding to quit their jobs and leave the job market altogether. 

Ron Hetrick, senior economist at Emsi Burning Glass, a labor market data analytics firm, says this may be the wave of things to come. 

“With far more job openings than people available to fill them – as the U.S. still struggles to deal with the recent excessive permanent retirements of 2020-21, we may be getting an early glimpse of the crisis we predicted would be decades in the future. We simply do not have the labor force we need to fill our needs.”

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Biden Job Market Slide

The December jobs report is just the latest in the Biden economy downward slide. In September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs. 

A Fox News report blamed the mass exodus on workers seeking higher wages, and pandemic fears pushing people to want jobs that would allow them to work from home. Another reason for what the Fox News report dubbed “the great resignation,” though perhaps not widely reported, were also the number of employer vaccine mandates that many employees were not willing to comply with.

But dismal job reports did not stop there. November was not much better, with a mere 210,000 jobs added, way down from the predicted 550,000. 

Inflation also took its toll as Americans ate their most expensive Thanksgiving dinner on record while Joe Biden and the Democrats congratulated themselves for being “the party of job growth.”

According to a Gallup poll for December, Joe Biden’s approval number stood at 43%, the fourth month in a row the number stood at 42 or 43%. If job numbers also continue on the current trend, Democrats could find the 2022 midterms a bit problematic.