America’s employers added 428,000 jobs in April, extending a streak of solid hiring that has defied punishing inflation, chronic supply shortages, the Russian war against Ukraine and much higher borrowing costs, according to NYPOST.
Friday’s jobs report from the Labor Department showed that last month’s hiring kept the unemployment rate at 3.6%, just above the lowest level in a half-century.
The economy’s hiring gains have been remarkably consistent in the face of the worst inflation in four decades.
Employers have added at least 400,000 jobs for 12 straight months.
Yet it’s unclear how long the jobs boom will continue.
John Lynch, the chief investment officer for Comerica Wealth Management in Charlotte, sounded a cautiously optimistic tone, saying that the jobs report could be a sign of “easing inflation fears.”
“Today’s report is balanced and may prove to dampen the extreme volatility of recent days,” he said.
“We’re still not out of the woods, yet a clearing is visible.”
The Federal Reserve this week raised its key rate by a half-percentage point — its most aggressive move since 2000 — and signaled further large rate hikes to come.
As the Fed’s rate hikes take effect, they will make it increasingly expensive for consumers and businesses to borrow, spend and hire.
In addition, the vast economic aid that the government had been supplying to households has expired.
And Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has helped accelerate inflation and clouded the economic outlook. Some economists warn of a growing risk of recession.
“There’s no getting away from the fact that the payrolls number could and would likely be higher, perhaps substantially higher, if employers were having more success finding the workers they want and needed,” Mark Hamrick, a senior analyst with Bankrate, told The Post.
“In other cycles, restraint on payrolls growth would be seen as indicative of weak demand. As with so many things, the pandemic has turned the world upside down.”
Hamrick said that the 428,000 jobs added “is in line with expectations.”
“Labor force participation, or the gauge of those either working or looking for work, remains below pre-pandemic levels, depriving employers of candidates to fill jobs,” he said.