Jerome Powell in Bulletin News & Headlines

Cooling Labor Market Eases Some Hiring Pressures: Fed

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The unusually strong US labor market has cooled somewhat in recent months, making it easier for employers to snap up workers in areas like finance and construction, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. online news

The United States added more than a quarter of a million new jobs in April, pushing vacancies higher and lowering the unemployment rate to levels not seen since the 1960s.

“Overall, the labor market continued to be strong, with contacts reporting difficulty finding workers across a wide range of skill levels and industries,” the Fed announced in its regular report on economic conditions known as the Beige Book.

But contacts across the Fed’s regional departments also noted that “the labor market had cooled some, highlighting easier hiring in construction, transportation, and finance.”

US economic activity was “little changed overall in April and early May,” the Fed said in its report, adding that, while expectations for future growth had deteriorated a little, “contacts still largely expected a further expansion in activity.”

There were, however, a few areas where the economy appeared to be faring less well.

These included farming, the trucking industry and commercial construction and real estate activity, where many regional Fed banks noted an overall decrease, with the office segment “continuing to be a weak spot.”


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