The labor market is still defying gravity.
Employers added 253,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department reported Friday. This is a reversal of the cooling trend that marked the first quarter and was expected to continue.
The unemployment rate was 3.4%, down from 3.5% in March. Matches January Levelthe lowest level since 1969.
Due to the employment increase exceeding the forecast, Potential shift for the Federal Reserve Towards a lull in rising interest rates. Chairman Jerome H. Powell said Wednesday that the central bank could continue to raise rates if new data showed the economy was not slowing enough to keep prices down.
The collapse of three banks and the consequent reduction in lending is expected to hit small and medium-sized enterprises particularly hard, but it shows that the brakes on job creation have not yet come to a halt.
“All these things show that it’s not a hard stop. It’s creating headwinds, but not debilitating headwinds,” said Carl Riccardonna, chief US economist at BNP Paribas. We’re in for a gradual recession, but it’s certainly a stubborn and persistent trend.”
Downward revisions over the past two months have significantly changed the spring employment landscape, with a total of 149,000 job losses. This brings the three-month average to 222,000 jobs, a clear slowdown from his 400,000 average addition in 2022.
Since early 2021, the labor market has been unusually tight as employers have struggled to reverse sudden mass layoffs and weather major shifts in demand for goods and services. The unemployment rate has reached its lowest point since the 1960s. Wages at the bottom of the pay scale have risen fastest in decades.
All of this has benefited groups that have historically been disadvantaged in the labor market.The unemployment rate for black Americans hit a record low of 4.7% for black Americans in April, and the gap between white and black unemployment is It was also the smallest ever measuredThe proportion of working-age people participating in the labor market reached 83.3%, the highest level since 2008.
In recent months, an exceptional mismatch between supply and demand for workers has been balancing. Job listings, which had nearly doubled the number of available workers, dropped in the first quarter. In addition, a recovery in immigration has eased labor shortages, especially in sectors such as leisure, hospitality and healthcare, which continue to grow rapidly.
“I think one of the most obvious effects we’ve seen from the increased flow of work visas is easing supply constraints and increasing participation,” said Courtney Spurt, economist at consulting firm Macropolicy Perspectives. Because seasonal workers are employed at parks and resorts, jobs filled by immigrants could continue to support employment during the summer months, she said.
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