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Although US economy Fewer jobs were created in November than expected, with most industries still adding to their payrolls last month – in the way of white-collar businesses.

The Labor Department said in its Friday report That employers added 210,000 jobs last month, sharply missing economists’ expectations for a profit of 550,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, the lowest level since February 2020, when the pandemic shut down wide swaths of the country’s economy.

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The labor market was gaining momentum after a delta-induced downturn in the summer, but the latest figure represents a significant drop from the October upward revised number of 546,000 and the September upward revised 379,000. Before the crisis began, there are still about 3.9 million fewer jobs than last February.

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Professionals and business services saw some of the biggest gains last month, with payrolls increasing by 90,000. The growth was widespread across the industry: management and technical consulting firms added 12,000 jobs, scientific research and development increased by 3,300 and computer systems design and related services increased by 9,500.

There were also solid gains in transportation and warehousing, which grew by 50,000, driven by the hiring of couriers and messengers delivering packages (26,800) and warehousing and storage facilities (8,800).

Construction also jumped from 31,000 last month, with gains across sectors including civil engineers (8,100), building construction (10,000), and contractors (13,000).

But despite the upcoming holiday season, retail employment saw a net decline of 20,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis last month. The biggest losses were in clothing stores (down 17,700) and department stores (down 7,500).

“Notable job gains have been achieved in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, construction and manufacturing,” the Labor Department report said. “Employment in retail has declined over the month.”

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Leisure and hospitality, one of the hardest-hit sectors that has become a spurt for the economy’s recovery, gained just 23,000 new jobs last month. Restaurants and bars saw an increase of 11,000, while hotels added more than 6,000 jobs last month. By comparison, the sector added 170,000 new jobs in October. Overall, it has recovered about 7 million jobs lost during the pandemic, but is down about 1.3 million from February 2020 levels.

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“The slowdown in leisure and hospitality jobs in November was a major contributor to the overall slowdown,” said Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at Glassdoor. “Holiday hiring was also mixed in retail and transportation and warehousing as strong consumer spending was not enough to drive continued job growth.”