The U.S. only added 245,000 jobs in November – a sharp decline from the 610,000 added in October – amid an increase in COVID-19 cases and subsequent government lockdown orders, although stocks have continued to rise on the hope that a new round of financial relief may be coming from Washington, D.C.
The Labor Department's November report also indicated that unemployment dropped from 6.9% in October to 6.7%, although this number does not account for those who have stopped actively looking for work.
The U.S. has only regained slightly more than half of the jobs lost since the beginning of the pandemic, with 10 million fewer positions since February.
With the first round of emergency government assistance set to expire at the end of 2020, Congress has yet to approve a second round of stimulus bills. Stocks rose Friday, however, at the news of continued progress around the approval of new relief measures.
"Compromise is within reach," said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday, speaking of the new $908 billion aid package.
The S&P 500 rose by half a percent on Friday morning, along with European and Asian stock indexes and oil futures.