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disappointing

U.S. adds only 210,000 jobs in November, below expectations

The U.S. jobs report for November has come in significantly under expectations.

The Labor Department said Friday the United States economy added 210,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate declined to 4.2 percent. The number of jobs gained fell short of economists' expectations that 573,000 would be added, according to CNBC.

This came after the jobs report for October surpassed expectations, as 531,000 jobs were added; that was around 100,000 more than expected. The October number was revised up on Friday to 546,000. 

In November, "notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, construction, and manufacturing," the Labor Department said. Retail employment declined. Overall, the economy added the smallest number of jobs since December 2020, CNN notes. While the job gains disappointed, The New York Times notes the household survey indicated the number of employed Americans increased by over 1.1 million. 

The report comes amid concerns about the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, though this employment data was obtained before the variant was first identified in the United States. Glassdoor Senior Economist Daniel Zhao wrote that the November report painted a "mixed picture," pointing to the fact that job growth slowed but the unemployment rate "significantly" declined. But he also noted that it presented "a conundrum to policymakers who were hoping for a report providing confidence in labor market health." 

Indeed economic research director Nick Bunker also told CNBC, "The underlying momentum of the labor market is still strong, but this month shows more uncertainty than expected."