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US Job Growth Deceleration Spurs Conversations about Rate Reductions

US Job Growth Deceleration Spurs Conversations about Rate
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US Job Growth Deceleration Spurs Conversations about Rate
Getty Images Getty Images

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US Job Growth Deceleration Spurs Conversations about Rate Reductions

Job growth in the US slowed last month, accompanied by a slight uptick in the unemployment rate, signaling a potential easing of momentum in the world’s largest economy.

According to the Labor Department, employers added 175,000 positions in April, while the jobless rate increased from 3.8% in March to 3.9%. This marks the first instance in months where growth has fallen short of expectations.

The labor market’s trajectory in the US, closely monitored for signs of a slowdown, comes as borrowing costs remain at their highest levels in two decades.

Analysts suggest that this report could strengthen the case for the Federal Reserve to consider interest rate cuts later this year.

Chief Investment Officer at Premier Miton Investors, Neil Birrell remarked, “At last, there is evidence of some weakness in the US jobs market. Rate cuts will move back up the agenda as a result, and there is little doubt that markets will take this as good news.”

Since 2022, the Federal Reserve has significantly raised interest rates in an attempt to moderate the economy and alleviate the pressures contributing to the fastest pace of price increases in decades.

Despite expectations for rate cuts this year, inflation has remained above the central bank’s 2% target, casting doubt on the timing of such adjustments.

An unexpectedly robust job market, fueling consumer spending and economic growth, has further complicated the decision-making process.

However, the positive indicators from the labor market have also raised hopes that the US can avoid a severe economic downturn typically associated with a surge in borrowing costs.

Following the release of the latest jobs figures, US stocks opened higher, reflecting investor optimism.

Satyam Panday, chief US economist at S&P Global Ratings, described the hiring slowdown as expected, suggesting that it should help temper inflation without raising concerns about a recession.

He anticipates that the Federal Reserve will be prepared to cut rates, potentially by the fall or December.

Despite the moderation in job growth, most sectors continued to add workers, with healthcare firms leading the way.

Additionally, average hourly earnings rose by 3.9% over the 12 months to April, albeit slower than the previous month, as reported by the Labor Department.


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