Nonfarm payrolls grew by 261,000 for the month while the unemployment rate moved higher to 3.7%, the Labor Department reported Friday. Those payroll numbers were better than the Dow Jones estimate for 205,000 more jobs, but worse than the 3.5% estimate for the unemployment rate.
Supply chain disruptions are having a substantial impact on current economic conditions. Economy-wide and retail-sector inventory-to-sales ratios have hit record lows; homebuilders are reporting shortages of key materials; and automakers do not have enough semiconductors. Elevated consumer demand is adding fuel to the fire. Travel demand, for example, has returned much more sharply than expected, which is straining airline operations. Similarly, total vehicle sales in April more than doubled from a year prior, which is leading to empty dealer lots. The combination of a spike in consumer demand and a supply chain that is not fully operational has contributed to rising prices.
The widely anticipated (predicted) recession did not arrive in 2022, but is still expected this year. The economy is clearly slowing, monthly job creation averaged 562,000 in 2021, but only 375,000 last year, with December closing the year at 223,000. Rising mortgage rates have clearly slowed the important housing sector, already suffering from shortages of materials and labor. The negative impact of the dramatic increase in interest rates has not been fully felt, and more rate hikes are almost certain early in the year. The unemployment rate is very low, but the labor force is smaller than it was pre-Covid.
As was the case prior to the pandemic, adults in poor general health (which may reflect both physical and mental health) continue to report higher rates of anxiety and/or depression than adults in good general health.1,2 For people with chronic illness in particular, the already high likelihood of having a concurrent mental health disorder may be exacerbated by their vulnerability to severe illness from COVID-19. Recently, a study also found that 18% of individuals (including people with and without a past psychiatric diagnosis) who received a COVID-19 diagnosis were later diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or mood disorders. Older adults are also more vulnerable to severe illness from coronavirus and have experienced increased levels of anxiety and depression during the pandemic.
KFF Health Tracking Polls conducted during the pandemic have also found that people with lower incomes are generally more likely to report major negative mental health impacts from worry or stress over the coronavirus. In December 2020, 35% of those earning less than $40,000 reported experiencing a major negative mental health impact, compared to 21% of those with incomes between $40,000 to $89,999 and 17% of those making $90,000 or more (Figure 5).
Throughout the pandemic, we find that adults in households with children under the age of 18, compared to adults in households without, are slightly more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder (45% vs. 41%, respectively, as of December 2020).5 Specifically, among households with children under the age of 18, women have been more likely than men to report symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder throughout the pandemic (as of December 2020, 49% vs. 40%, respectively; Figure 6). Similarly, KFF Health Tracking Polls conducted during the pandemic have generally found that among parents, women are more likely than men to report negative mental health impacts.6
Throughout the pandemic, women have been more likely to report poor mental health compared to men. For example, 47% of women reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder compared to 38% of men in December 2020. Among women in the workplace, more than one in four are considering leaving their jobs or reducing their hours, with many citing burnout and household responsibilities as the primary reason. Even before the pandemic, women were more likely than men to report mental health disorders, including serious mental illness.
Existing mental illness among adolescents may be exacerbated by the pandemic, and with many school closures, they do not have the same access to key mental health services. Prior to the pandemic, more than one in ten (16%) adolescents ages 12 to 17 had anxiety and/or depression.7 Children may experience mental distress during the pandemic due to disruption in routines, loss of social contact, or stress in the household. Additionally, child abuse may be increasing during the pandemic. Child abuse-related emergency department (ED) visits dropped during the COVID-19 outbreak; however, the severity of injuries among child abuse-related ED visits has increased and resulted in more hospitalizations. Child abuse can lead to immediate emotional and psychological problems and is also an adverse childhood experience (ACE) linked to possible mental illness and substance misuse later in life. Educators play a critical role in the identification and reporting of child abuse. However, with school closures and stay-at-home orders, it is likely that many cases are going undetected, and that at-risk children have increased exposure at home to their abusers.
Essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as health care providers, grocery store employees, and mail and package delivery personnel, have shown high rates of poor mental health outcomes. These workers are generally required to work outside of their home and may be unable to practice social distancing. Consequently, they are at increased risk of contracting coronavirus and exposing other members of their household. A KFF analysis found that essential workers face additional challenges, including difficulties affording basic necessities as a result of the pandemic. These factors may contribute to poor mental health outcomes for these workers. As shown in Figure 8, essential workers are more likely than nonessential workers to report symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder (42% vs. 30%, respectively), starting or increasing substance use (25% vs. 11%), or considering suicide in the past 30 days (22% vs. 8%).
WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in November and increased wages, shrugging off mounting worries of a recession, but that will probably not stop the Federal Reserve from slowing the pace of its interest rate hikes starting this month.
As such, a big positive surprise from today's nonfarm payroll report could cause Treasury yields to resume their upward trajectory if it looks like the labor market is progressing toward those benchmarks faster than expected. In this environment, against a backdrop of historic equity inflows in January, the bond market is skittish.
In heavily Democratic districts-ones that had given Democratic presidential candidates 60 percent or more of the vote-Democratic House members lost no ground because of support for the president's program. In districts that had given Democratic presidential candidates 50 percent support or more, down-the-line supporters lost about 4 points, which may have tilted some of these marginal districts. But in Republican districts where Dukakis and Clinton took less than 50 percent of the vote, the Democratic incumbents paid a very high price for aligning with national Democratic politics. Across the country, these strong supporters of the Democratic program lost 7 percentage points off their expected margin; in the South, the loss was a stunning 12 points. Strong supporters of the Clinton agenda in heavily Republican districts in the South faced three times as much erosion as weak supporters did. In weak Democratic districts (less than 40 percent for Clinton), three-quarters of pro-Clinton Democratic incumbents (those who gave him at least 75 percent support) lost their seats. (See David W. Brady, John F. Cogan, and Douglas Rivers, "How the Republicans Captured the House: An Assessment of the 1994 Midterm Elections," in the Cook Political Report, February 8, 1995.) 2b1af7f3a8