U.S. labor market gradually cools in March – odds of rate hike increase

By: ameer@trustedteam.com

A number of big companies have been cutting back, or laying off staff such as Walmart, McDonalds, General Motors, Salesforce, Disney and Meta.

In March, the leisure and hospitality industry saw the largest job gains, adding 72,000 new workers. The temporary help services sector followed closely behind, contributing 65,000 new workers to the job market. The labor force participation rate increased slightly from 62.5% to 62.6% in March, while the average weekly hours worked decreased from 34.5 to 34.4.

Over the last six months, the U.S. economy has averaged 334,000 new jobs per month.

However, weekly jobless claims, a measure of layoffs, have increased from historic lows, and job openings have decreased. This indicates a declining demand for workers as the labor market gradually cools. “The great labor market machine is finally slowing down some, but it’s still got a lot of strength left,” Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union told the Wall Street Journal.

Employers in the leisure and hospitality sectors are actively hiring as they continue to recover from significant job losses during the early stages of the pandemic. Hospitals, nursing homes, and daycare centers are also looking to fill positions after many employees quit or retired.

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