Job creation came to a halt in December as restrictions brought on by surging Covid-19 cases hammered virus-sensitive industries, particularly bars and restaurants, which lost nearly half a million positions.
The Labor Department reported Friday that nonfarm payrolls fell by 140,000. That was below expectations for 50,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. It was the first monthly drop since April.
The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7%, compared to a 6.8% estimate. An alternative unemployment measure that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons declined to 11.7% from 12%.
Markets shrugged off the disappointing report, likely on the…