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Job growth is slowing down but the market still sits at a good place

Job report
Posted at 6:14 PM, Sep 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-02 20:56:03-04

COLORADO — Job growth is slowing down compared to numbers from July, but the market still sits in a good place, according to numbers from the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The nation added 315,000 new jobs in August compared to 528,000 added the month before. Unemployment rose to 3.7%, up from the 3.5% rate seen in July.

The professional business services industry saw the most growth this month with 68,000 jobs added. The health care industry saw a gain of 48,000 jobs while the retail sector followed close behind with 44,000 jobs added. The leisure and hospitality industry is still lagging, remaining below pre-pandemic levels by around 7%.

Right now, The BLS shows there is only half of a worker per job opening, revealing a tight labor market. Economist Tatiana Bailey said even with the jobs added this month, there are not enough to get us out of the tight market, which can stunt economic growth.

"You still got a long way to go before you fill all those openings, not to mention all of the turnover," she said. "Businesses get to a point where they're like, I can't grow anymore, because I just don't have the talent that I need. So that's really the major downside, and it's not something that's necessarily going to be fixed overnight."

She said in a tight labor market where workers have more job options, employers are raising wages to try to hire or retain workers to stay competitive. Those costs are passed on to consumers, meaning higher prices.

"We still need to create more jobs, simply because so many people have either left the labor force. They're just that confident that they, you know, are going to be able to find another job," she said.

So what does this mean if you're looking for a job? Bailey said more job options are available.

"If you're thinking about switching jobs, don't quit the one you have now. But your chances are still pretty good to find another one, where you're probably going to make more money and maybe like what you do, you know, even a little more than what you're doing right now," she said.

The Federal Reserve will meet later this month to decide on any interest rate hikes for the future. Today's report and the latest inflation numbers could factor into that decision.
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