Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy shed 140,000 jobs during December in its first monthly loss since the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic began last spring, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7%, largely in line with analysts' estimates.
Some 10.7 million Americans were officially counted as unemployed in December, also mostly unchanged since November.
By far the biggest losses for the month came in the leisure and hospitality industry, where employment plunged by 498,000 jobs after gaining 340,000 jobs in the previous month.
Most of the reductions came in the restaurant and bar sector, which saw a drop of 372,000 jobs amid coronavirus-related closures.
Those losses were only partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, and construction, the Labor Department reported.