U.S. employers shed jobs last month for the first time since April, cutting 140,000 positions, clear evidence that the economy is faltering as the viral pandemic tightens its grip on consumers and businesses.
At the same time, the unemployment rate stayed at 6.7%, the first time it hasn’t fallen since April.
Friday’s figures from the Labor Department suggest that employers have rehired roughly all the workers they can afford to after having laid off more than 22 million in the spring — the worst such loss on record. With consumer spending barely growing over the past few months, most companies have little incentive to hire. The economy still has 9.9 million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic sent it sinking into a deep recession nearly a year ago.
The pandemic will likely continue to weaken the economy through the winter and perhaps early spring. But many economists, along with the Federal Reserve’s policymakers, say they think that once the coronavirus vaccines are more widely distributed, a broad recovery should take hold in the second half of the year. The incoming Biden administration, along with a now fully Democratic-controlled House and Senate, is also expected to push rescue aid and spending measures that could accelerate growth.
For now, the renewed surge in virus cases, as well as cold weather, has caused millions of consumers to avoid eating out, shopping and traveling. Re-imposed business restrictions have shut down numerous restaurants, bars, and other venues.
Economists at TD Securities estimate that more than half the states have restricted gatherings to 10 or fewer people, up from about a quarter in September. New York City and California, among others, placed strict new limits on restaurants last month.
In recent months, retailers have been especially hurt by the slump in consumer spending. Debit and credit card data tracked by JPMorgan Chase, based on 30 million accounts, shows that Americans slowed their purchases during the holiday shopping season. Such spending was 6% lower in December compared with a year ago. That was worse than in October, when card spending was down just 2% from the previous year.
Restaurant traffic has also dropped, according to the reservations website OpenTable. Seated dining is down 60% this week compared with a year ago, much worse than two months earlier, when they were down about 35%.
The $900 billion financial aid package that Congress enacted last month should also help propel a recovery, economists say. It will provide a $300-a-week federal jobless benefit on top of an average weekly state benefit of about $320. In addition, millions of Americans stand to receive $600 payments, and the Treasury Department said Thursday that 8 million of those payments were going out this week.
Late Wednesday, Goldman Sachs upgraded its forecast for economic growth this year to a robust 6.4% from its previous estimate of 5.9%. Its upgrade was based in part on the expectation that the Biden administration will implement more stimulus.
Still, for now, about 11 million people are officially unemployed. Millions more have stopped looking for work, either because they’re discouraged about their prospects or worried about contracting the coronavirus, and aren’t counted as unemployed.
Friday’s monthly jobs report, the last of Donald Trump’s presidency, shows that the nation has 3 million fewer jobs than it did four years earlier. That makes Trump the first president since Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), early in the Great Depression, to preside over a net loss of jobs.
All the job losses during the Trump administration occurred after the pandemic struck. Before then, the unemployment rate had fallen to a 50-year low of 3.5%. Still, Trump had pledged to create 25 million jobs in four years.
Actress Bella Thorne has come to the defense of Armie Hammer after he denied sending disturbing messages about rape fantasies, BDSM and cannibalism to a woman that were leaked last week.
'I honestly can't believe this… people are crazy to fake this kinda s*** this poor guy and his kids like leave him and his family alone. No way he's a freaking CANNIBAL…..' the 23-year-old wrote on social media.
It appeared that the former Disney star was confused by the allegations - which were about alleged sexual fantasies and not actual cannibalism. Thorne added: 'Also there’s a million fake screen shots going around.'
Hammer, 34, has addressed the reports of disturbing messages to women, telling DailyMail.com in a statement: 'I'm not responding to these b******* claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for 4 months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic.'
On Wednesday DailyMail.com obtained concerning videos showing Hammer looking 'out of it', cracking open a beer while driving and licking white powder off his friend's hand.
The 34-year-old is seen in two separate clips, declaring 's**t's getting weird' after polishing off a white substance from a friend's hand and in another saying 'sending love, boys' after taking a swig from his beer can while behind the wheel.
Hammer began to trend on Twitter over the weekend after a series of sexually graphic Instagram DMs that he allegedly penned to a woman were leaked publicly by an anonymous, now-private account, House of Effie.
Hammer's estranged wife Elizabeth Chambers, whom he split from in July 2020, is said to be currently 'shocked and sickened' over the recent revelations.
A close friend exclusively told DailyMail.com: 'Armie had a whole other side to him that she wasn’t aware of. Whether it was always there and he kept it hidden, or something happened that changed him completely, she doesn't know.'
The Social Network star has also confirmed he was dropping out of his latest film - Shotgun Wedding with Jennifer Lopez - after the news was first reported earlier on Wednesday.
He said: 'Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I'm grateful to them for that.'
A Wednesday report from Page Six claimed that the actor was exiting the project, with production spokesperson saying: 'Given the imminent start date of 'Shotgun Wedding,' Armie has requested to step away from the film and we support him in his decision.'
Meanwhile, Hammer's estranged wife is said to be distraught over the leaked messages, which date back to 2016 and some are as recent as February 2020, a time period where Hammer was still married.
The two announced their 10-year marriage was over in July, as a source close to Chambers admitted she was aware of his infidelities, including being romantically involved with Lily James as DailyMail.com revealed last year, which led to their split.
But Hammer's alleged extreme kinks are a 'complete shock' to the mother-of-two, with the friend adding: 'Armie appears to be a monster.'
The friend said: 'A lot of these women have reached out to Elizabeth and although she didn't want to admit it to herself at first, she knows now they are speaking the truth.
'Armie had a whole other side to him that she wasn’t aware of. Whether it was always there and he kept it hidden, or something happened that changed him completely, she doesn't know.'
The insider claims that one of the women who contacted Chambers about her experience with Hammer was left so traumatized that she entered an 'intense rehab and therapy program because of his emotional and maybe physical abuse.'
The source added: 'He preyed upon her when she was coming out of a relationship. He made her feel very uncomfortable, the things he wanted to do made her very scared.'
The graphic Instagram DMs that Hammer allegedly penned to a woman included talk of rape fantasies, BDSM and cannibalism.
In one exchange, Hammer is seen to write: 'I am 100% a cannibal. I want to eat you.'
'F**k. That's scary to admit,' the message continues. 'I've never admitted that before.'
The authenticity of the screenshots has not yet been verified, however the woman behind the House of Effie account shared new alleged correspondences with Hammer on Tuesday, in which he appeared to refer to her as his 'slave'.
'You just live to obey me and be my slave,' a message purported to have been sent from Hammer's official Instagram account reads.
'I will own you. That's my soul. My brain. My spirit. My body. Would you come and be my property till you die?'
The message continues: 'If I wanted to cut off one of your toes and keep it with me in my pocket so I always had a piece of you in my possession?'
House of Effie attempted to prove their authenticity by sharing private photos alleged to be from Hammer.
She confessed on Friday that she struggled emotionally and physically when she moved her daughter, Sienna, from breast milk to formula.
And Millie Mackintosh kept a low profile in a padded jacket and black leggings for a walk after opening up about her breastfeeding challenges on social media.
The former Made In Chelsea star, 30, highlighted her slender pins in her casual outfit as she strolled through London with her friend, Lily Fortescue.
Millie completed the look with chunky boots and a fur-lined hat.
Her brunette tresses were styled in a straight hairdo, and she appeared to go make-up free for the outing.
Her pal Lily, 31, who is the sister of former MIC star Rosie, also 31, was seen pushing a pram while clutching a warm beverage. She kept it casual in a padded jacket, jeans and a beanie hat.
The outing comes after Millie revealed she suffered from 'engorged, sore' breasts after moving her only child, eight months, from breast milk to formula last year.
While sharing a throwback snap in bed breastfeeding, the reality star said: 'I found it hard emotionally and physically!
'It took a few weeks for my milk to dry up and I had really engorged, sore boobs! I stopped breastfeeding Sienna then used my pump less and less over three weeks rather than stopping overnight.
'Luckily Sienna liked the taste of the formula we were prescribed for her reflux and didn't refuse to drink it. We gave her a bottle of my expressed milk every day from early on so she would be used to it and I think that helped.'
Millie previously revealed that her daughter, whom she shares with Hugo Taylor, has silent reflux, a condition that causes children to bring up milk or be sick, shortly after breastfeeding.
When confirming her child's diagnosis in September, the mother-of-one said: 'Sienna is now on medication and based on the professional advice given, it has meant my breastfeeding journey has come to an end much sooner than I had hoped.
'It was a really emotional decision to step back and transition to the suggested specific formula that helps with this condition.
'I reminded myself that firstly it's all about whatever is best for Sienna and secondly I am so grateful for the 4 months of beautiful bonding we shared during our feeding times (it's not a given for everyone).'
She concluded: 'I was at peace with whatever need to be done in order to make Sienna comfortable.'
Also on Friday, the TV personality shared a candid underwear snap as she confirmed she has embraced her post-pregnancy figure.
When asked: 'Have you learnt to love your post-baby body?' Millie responded: 'Yes! It gave me the greatest gift and I have so much more respect for my body and what it is capable of!
'I felt frustrated the other day that my tummy isn't flat but then I reminded myself that it took me nine months to grow my baby.'
In another question asked on her Instagram account, Millie shared an insight into her daughter's personality.
'Who do you think Sienna is more like in looks and personality?' a fan questioned.
'I find it really hard to tell!' Millie responded. 'It changes daily but I would say she looks slightly more like me. She is mischievous and pretty demanding when hungry which also sounds like me,' alongside a laughing emoji.
Премьер-министр Финляндии Санна Марин выступила против проведения чемпионата мира 2021 года по хоккею в Белоруссии.
Первенство должно пройти с 21 мая по 6 июня в Минске и Риге, однако из-за политической обстановки в Белоруссии Международная федерация хоккея (ИИХФ) может найти замену Минску.
«Лично я считаю, что чемпионат мира не должен проводиться в Минске. Ситуация с правами человека в Белоруссии очень серьезная. Произошли насильственные аресты граждан, которые хотели реализовать свое избирательное право», — цитирует Марин Helsingin Sanomat.
Ранее сообщалось, что Дания готова отказаться от поездки на хоккейный ЧМ-2021 в Белоруссию.