United States The Labor Department released employment data for August, indicating where the economy is going.
In August, the numbers fell from 526,000 jobs (in July) to 315,000 (slightly less than the Dow Jones estimate of 318,000), while unemployment rose to 3.7% – the highest figure high since February.
Economists had expected a general slowdown in the economy, given that the country is still readjusting to life after the pandemic and ongoing inflation.
Despite the slowdown, wages showed growth last month: the average hourly wage rose 0.3%.
The professional and business services, health care and retail sectors recorded the largest hirings – 68,000, 48,000 and 44,000 jobs, accordingly.
Ongoing inflation is the highest in more than 40 years, weighed down by Federal Reserve and Congressional stimulus and military spending to support Ukraine devastated by the Russian invasion, all dragging the rising cost of living in the country.
Last week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell addressed the state of the economy in his annual Jackson Hole address and announced the steps the Federal Reserve would take to fight inflation, including raising interest rates and making working conditions more flexible.
Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at multinational financial services firm Charles Schwab, called current market conditions “unique”, expressing hope that the economic decline will not be as steep as expected.
“It’s a unique time, where we still have a relatively tight labor market, where there’s still job growth, but companies have started announcing hiring freezes, and some companies have announced layoffs,” they said. Told CNBC. “It could most likely be a recession where you don’t see the kind of job market carnage that you see in most recessions.”
Markets reacted positively to the jobs data, with indices rising at the open.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both added 0.6%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 140 points, or 0.5%, as stocks across all sectors rose in price.
Crypto markets are also looking positive, adding $10 billion in market capitalization following the news.
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