US economy likely added jobs at healthy clip in April despite worsening labor shortage
Market expert on March jobs report: It’s a good time to be a worker
Slatestone Wealth chief management strategist Kenny Polcari discusses inflation and the March jobs report, arguing if inflation continues to ‘get strong its going to put pressure on the market.’
U.S. job growth likely continued at a brisk clip in April, suggesting the labor market is still strong despite headwinds from the highest inflation in four decades, global supply chain constraints and a worsening labor shortage.
The Labor Department on Friday morning is releasing its closely watched April jobs report, which is projected to show that payrolls increased by 391,000 last month and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.5%, according to a median estimate by Refinitiv economists.
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"Jobs creation, or hiring, should be on par with the previous solid reading and the unemployment rate could slip to match the pre-pandemic low of 3.5%," said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate. "Wage growth should be solid, but insufficient to stay ahead of rising consumer prices."
Businesses are eager to onboard new employees and are raising wages in order to attract workers as they confront a labor shortage. There are roughly 11.3 million open jobs – the third-highest on record – while the pace of layoffs has moderated in recent months.
The Labor Department said in a separate report on Tuesday that 4.5 million Americans, or about 3% of the workforce, quit their jobs in March. That's up from 4.4 million in February and just slightly tops the previous record notched in November. By comparison, pre-pandemic levels typically hovered around 3.6 million.
Meanwhile, the number of job openings rose to 11.5 million by the end of March – meaning there are close to 2 open jobs for every unemployed person.