Restaurants and bars lost jobs in December while most other industries increased positions, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report Friday, leaving the nation’s unemployment rate unchanged at 6.7%.

“The decline in payroll employment reflects the recent increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and efforts to contain the pandemic,” the bureau said. “In December, job losses in leisure and hospitality and in private education were partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade and construction.”

In December, leisure and hospitality jobs declined by 498,000, with three-quarters of the decrease, or 372,000 positions, in food services and drinking places, the bureau said. Employment also fell in the amusements, gambling and the recreation industry (down 92,000) and in the accommodation industry (down 24,000).


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