April jobs report shows possible steadying of labor market

May 3, 2024, 9:30 AM | Updated: 12:16 pm

Now hiring sign...

A 'now hiring' sign is displayed in a retail store in Manhattan on January 5, in New York City. As the American economy continues to outperform expectations, the December jobs report showed that employers added 216,000 positions for the month as the unemployment rate held at 3.7%. (Mandatory Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Mandatory Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Fewer jobs were added to the U.S. economy than expected, with only 175,000 jobs gained last month. That’s noticeably lower than anticipated hiring numbers, which analysts expected to be closer to 240,000 for the April 2024 jobs report.

Adding to it — the unemployment rate also ticked up to 3.9% in this April 2024 jobs report. It was expected to hold at 3.8%.

And it’s all a sharp contrast to March’s hot jobs report that saw over 300,000 jobs added to the U.S. economy.

“[The] previous month it was just over 300,000 jobs — this month it was 175,000,” said Robert Spendlove, a senior economist for Zions Bank. “So that’s lower than the consensus, and it shows that what we’ve been expecting to happen for the last few months is starting to happen now.”

What was it we were expecting? The labor market is finally, possibly, starting to cool off.

“Before the pandemic, 150,000 was considered a good number,” said Spendlove. “So it’s still a good number, it’s just weaker than we’ve seen over the last couple of years. It’s not that the market is weakening significantly — it just might be a sign that the market is turning back to normal.”

Spendlove says this cooldown is what the Federal Reserve wants to see, so they can start cutting interest rates.

Related: Utah continues to sees job growth in key industries

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April jobs report shows possible steadying of labor market