However, according to the Ministry of Labor, employment growth slowed significantly last month.

Employment growth in the United States slowed significantly in November amid job cuts in retail chains and in local education, but the unemployment rate fell to a 21-month low of 4.2%.

The decrease in the unemployment rate by four-tenths of a percentage point compared to October, which the Ministry of Labor reported on Friday, occurred after almost 600 thousand were able to get a job.

The number of jobs outside the agricultural sector increased last month by 210 thousand people. The data for October were revised: 546,000 new jobs actually appeared in the United States last month, not 531,000, as indicated in the previous report. As a result, the employment rate was 3.9 million fewer jobs compared to the peak level recorded in February 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic.

Economists polled by Reuters predicted that the number of jobs will increase by 550 thousand people in November. Estimates ranged from 306 to 800 thousand.

Employment growth was held back by the leisure and hospitality sector, in which only 23 thousand new jobs appeared in October after an increase of 170 thousand in the previous month.

The number of jobs in the field of professional and business services has increased by 90 thousand. About 50 thousand vacancies appeared in the field of transport and warehousing, and the number of new jobs in construction increased by 31 thousand. Manufacturing employment increased by 31,000 jobs.

Modest job growth is likely to have little impact on expectations for stronger economic growth this quarter after slowing somewhat in the second quarter of the year.

Consumer spending and manufacturing activity remained at a high level in November. But the spread of a new, presumably more contagious strain of COVID-19 “Omicron” poses risks for further improvement of the picture. Although little is known about Omicron yet, economists take into account the experience with the Delta strain, which became one of the main factors contributing to the slowdown in economic growth in the second quarter.

However, there are signs that some Americans who lost their jobs during the recession caused by the pandemic are returning to the labor market. A survey at the household level showed that 594 thousand people returned to the labor market last month.

This increased the share of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one to 61.8%, compared with 61.6% in October. The total labor force decreased by 2.4 million people compared to the pre-pandemic level.

Economists believe that a strong stock market and high housing prices have increased the well-being of many Americans, contributing to early retirement. Many households have also accumulated huge savings; in addition, there is a surge in self-employment in the United States.