The US has seen a slowdown in hiring for the month of November according to the Labour Department.
With only 245,000 jobs added this falls well below what most economists had predicted.
This is in Sharpe contrast to October’s figure where over 610,000 jobs were added to the economy.
The jobless rate dropped to 6.7% from 6.9% a month earlier, partially because many people stopped looking for work.
The report comes as several key virus relief programmes, including some unemployment benefits, are set to expire at the end of the month.
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said this underscores the correlations between the virus and the economy.
“The bottom line is that job growth has slowed markedly, and this report demonstrates yet again that it’s not possible to separate the economy from the virus.” “We hope these numbers will increase the pressure on Congress to act.”
Unless lawmakers approve additional stimulus, roughly 12 million people are due to lose access to unemployment benefits at the end of December, according to a recent report by the Century Foundation, a Left-leaning think tank.
More than four million people have already been cut off, it found.