Back to Specialty Food News

Jobs Continued to Grow in April

Specialty Food Association

Nearly a half-million jobs (438,000) were added to the U.S. labor market in April, signaling a steady growth period, according to the Department of Labor, reports The New York Times. The unemployment rate maintained last month’s 3.6 percent.

“The job market is proving to be a key source of resilience for the economy. Job creation will eventually settle into a slower pace as businesses feel the pinch of soaring inflation and tighter financial conditions, but gains will stay healthy,” Oren Klachkin, a lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, told the The New York Times. “We think the economy has enough strength to create over 4 million jobs this year.”

Workers, however, are not returning to the market at a rate that matches the demand. There are an estimated 1.9 vacant jobs for every unemployed worker. Economists and experts do not know the reason for this disparity, but point to childcare disruptions, early retirements, and COVID-19 fears as possible explanations.

Wages increased by 5.5 percent across the first 4 months of 2022 and average hourly earnings grew by 0.3 percent compared to last month. Notably, leisure and hospitality, and retail have seen larger wages changes than average. Despite these gains, they have not kept up with the 8.5 percent inflation increase.

“Everyone loves to see wages go up and it’s a great thing, but you want them to go up at a sustainable level,” said Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, according to the report. “We’ve got to get back to price stability so that we can have a labor market where people’s wages aren’t being eaten up by inflation and where we can have a long expansion, too.” Full Story

Related: Inflation Shows No Sign of Easing; White House: Supply Chain Issues Projected to Outlast Pandemic