Boston Globe, December 2021
Jason Furman, a Harvard economist and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, has analyzed countless monthly employment reports over the years. His first reaction to the latest update from the US Labor Department? “Weird jobs numbers,” he tweeted just minutes after the news hit on Friday morning. Weird, indeed.
Released against the backdrop of rising consumer prices and growing concerns about yet another surge in COVID cases, the November jobs data presented conflicting views of the economy: Employers said they slowed hiring sharply from the previous month, while 1.1 million people, a big number, said they joined the ranks of the employed.