The US labor market was tighter than economists expected in April. While experts expected the number of new jobs to slow, employers hired more people than in the previous month. Unemployment remained low, while a slight increase was projected.
May 5, 2023
The U.S. added a total of 253,000 new jobs last month, more than economists had generally expected. The U.S. government reports that 3.4 percent of the working population is unemployed. Expectations increased to 3.6 percent. Hourly wages rose an average of 4.4 percent over the year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the figures for February and March. At the time, the increase in the number of jobs was much lower than initially reported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics.
A strong labor market
While the labor market appears strong based on new data, other signs point to a deteriorating economy. US gross domestic product (GDP) rose at a slower pace in the first quarter than in the previous three months. A rise in interest rates makes it more expensive for companies to borrow money for investments. In addition, the collapse of several mid-sized US banks caused unrest in the financial sector, which could have repercussions for the economy.
The jobs numbers are also important to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy. Now that the labor market is tight, that could be one reason why the central bank’s umbrella will raise interest rates a little longer to counter higher inflation.
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