Companies in the United States had fewer workers on their payrolls last month for the first time since December 2020.
The Automatic Data Processing (ADP) National Employment report showed that private payrolls dropped by 301,000 jobs in January following a December increase of nearly 800,000. The number includes employees who either lost their jobs or simply were unpaid during the survey due to sick leave or unpaid leave.
Experts have suggested that surging omicron infections have thrown a wrench in commerce by forcing more employees to call in sick, but many are waiting for more detailed Labor Department reports.
Will the job market recover? The leisure and hospitality industry lost roughly 154,000 workers, while the overarching service-providing industry lost 274,000. Major retailers shed jobs after the holidays.
ADP chief economist Nela Richardson said the drop is likely temporary as COVID-19 cases decline in the United States.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2022, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.