Employers added 175,000 jobs last month, marking a hiring slowdown


Hiring across the U.S. fell in April, a sign the Federal Reserve’s efforts to shackle economic growth and curb inflation is chilling the labor market.

Employers added 175,000 jobs last month, while the nation’s unemployment rate was little changed at 3.9%, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday. Consensus forecasts by economists surveyed by FactSet projected payroll gains of roughly 232,000. 

The jobless rate has remained below 4% for 27 consecutive months, the longest such stretch since the 1960s. 

The latest employment figures followed blockbuster job creation in March, when employers added a surprising and upwardly revised 315,000 jobs. Surprisingly strong economic growth and stubbornly high inflation have pushed back the Federal Reserve’s timeline for nudging down borrowing costs for consumers and businesses.

The central bank said Wednesday it was holding its benchmark interest rate at a two-decade high of roughly 5.3%, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledging that inflation is receding more slowly than policy makers expected. Starting in March of 2022, the Fed raised its short-term rate 11 times in trying to restrain surging inflation as the economy rebounded from the pandemic.

Although many economists expected the campaign to tighten monetary policy to tip the U.S. into recession this year, robust job gains, healthy consumer spending and strong corporate profits have kept the economy chugging.




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