Fed Hints at Future Job Gains
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the US economy grew at a “modest to moderate” pace through last month, however, rising gas prices could stall consumer spending it said, in its latest publication of anecdotes.
The Feds survey of its 12 banking districts, known as the Beige Book said hiring was steady or showing that the economy could be poised for job gains in most parts of the country. Hiring was reported to be steady or showed a modest increase across many Districts. Difficulty finding qualified workers, especially for high-skilled positions, was frequently reported.
Industries reporting some employment growth included manufacturing, freight transport, professional business services, and information technology. New York commented that employers are planning to step up hiring activity in the months ahead.
Wage pressures were noted as contained or modest among reporting Districts. Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco noted some upward pressure on wages for skilled jobs, especially in manufacturing and information technology.
Last month, American businesses added just 120,000 new jobs, well under the pace that the country has averaged for the previous three months. Employers added an average of 246,000 jobs from December through February, almost 100,000 more per month than the last three months.
The unemployment rate has fallen from 9.1 percent in August 2011 to 8.2 percent.