Despite Growing Recessionary Concerns, the Labour Market Remains Hot!

In May, U.S. employers were still eager to hire, which fueled a red-hot job market that is still keeping recession fears at bay.

Employers posted 11.3 million job openings in that month, down from a peak of 11.8 million in March and 11.4 million in April but still well above pre-pandemic levels, according to a report released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Roughly 4.3million Americans quit or changed jobs in May, reflecting a job market where workers continue to have the upper hand. Overall hiring, meanwhile, slowed slightly, with businesses adding 6.5million workers in May, compared with 6.6 million a month earlier. Layoffs, meanwhile, remained near record lows.

“This is not what a recession looks like,” said Nick Bunker, an economist at the jobs site Indeed. “Demand for workers might be stagnating, but it’s still at very elevated levels. The labor market is not signaling a recession.”

Even though the economy is getting worse, hiring is still going well. Gas, groceries, and other goods are more expensive than they were 40 years ago because of inflation. The way people feel is at an all-time low. And more economists and people who make predictions think that there will be a recession in the next year.

Fears like these have scared investors and hurt the financial markets. Oil prices fell as much as 10% on Tuesday, and for the first time since May, U.S. crude prices went below $100 per barrel. The stock market, on the other hand, kept falling after having its worst first half of the year since 1970. This happened before the July Fourth holiday. After the jobs report came out Wednesday morning, the markets went down, but they went back up later in the day.

Labor Market Remains Red Hot

The strong labor market and low unemployment rate — at a pandemic low of 3.6 percent — have remained a source of optimism for economists and policymakers. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell has routinely cited “extremely, historically” tight labor conditions as a key reason he feels comfortable hiking interest rates to cool the economy. The hope is that the Fed can tamp down on inflation without sending unemployment soaring.

Fed officials say they expect the job market to remain strong but worry that risks to the economy are rising, according to details from the central bank’s June meeting that were released Wednesday afternoon.

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