Dawit Kebede

CUNA economics: ‘Labor market remains robust’

April 7, 2023

CUNA Senior Economist Dawit Kebede, PhD, issued the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s  March Employment Situation:     

"Employers added 236,000 jobs in March, which is a slower hiring rate compared to the past two months. Labor force participation increased by one-tenth of a percentage point with 480,000 people joining the job market. Additionally, the hourly wage growth continued to moderate. Despite the slowdown in hiring, the labor market remains robust, with a low unemployment rate of 3.5%. 

"The latest labor department report, along with other indicators released this week, suggests that the labor market is gradually moving away from a state of high demand-supply imbalance. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), vacancies declined by 632,000 in February, leading to a decrease in the number of job openings available per unemployed person from 1.9 to 1.7. The rise in participation and fall in vacancies indicate less tight conditions compared to the previous months. 

"The slower hiring rate, moderate wage growth, reduced vacancies, and increased participation are steps in the right direction for the Federal Reserve's objective of bringing inflation down to target."