Today’s Solutions: September 22, 2023

Life is a surprising adventure, experiencing ups and downs when we least expect it, so, of course, just as we come out of a global pandemic there looms the possibility of an economic recession. Amid surging inflation and fears of slowing growth, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that slightly more jobs than expected were added to the U.S. economy in April.

Nonfarm payrolls – the number of workers in the U.S. excluding farmers and a few more job classifications – increased by 428,000 for April, exceeding estimations of 400,000 expected for the month. The employment rate was also 3.6 percent, also higher than the expected 3.5 percent.

Due to the pandemic forcing us all indoors, the leisure and hospitality industries were hit the hardest of all. Thankfully, last month saw job growth of 78,000 positions in this sector. Hourly earnings have also increased by 0.6 percent in April, up 11 percent from a year ago.

Other industries which showed a big increase in job numbers included: manufacturing (55,000), transportation and warehousing (52,000), professional and business services (41,000), financial activities (35,000), and health care (34,000). Retail also showed solid growth, adding 29,000 jobs mainly from food and beverage stores.

On the inflation front, the average level was also a little lower than the estimate, coming in a 0.3 percent instead of 0.4 percent. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased by around 5.5, keeping up with the levels of inflation the world is currently facing.

“The job market continues to plow forward, buoyed by strong employer demand. After just over two years of the pandemic, the job market is remaining resilient and on track for a return to pre-pandemic levels this summer,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor to CNBC.

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