The US economy created surprisingly few jobs at the end of the year. In December, 199,000 new jobs were created outside of agriculture, the government announced on Friday. Experts polled by Reuters had expected 400,000, after an increase of 249,000 jobs in November. The separately determined unemployment rate fell at the same time to 3.9 from 4.2 percent and thus more than expected by experts. All in all, the US labor market is weakening and is only slowly improving after the massive slump at the beginning of the pandemic in spring 2020. The US Federal Reserve headed by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell quickly turned away in mid-December in view of the increased inflation decided by crisis mode. At the same time, the monetary authorities signaled an average of three rate hikes for 2022.