Hiring Trouble Ahead for U.S. Firms as Labor Supply Stays Weak
(Bloomberg) -- The October jobs report showed a better-than-expected pick-up in U.S. hiring, but one key indicator points to a tougher time for employers in the months ahead.
The labor-force participation rate for workers aged 25 to 54 ticked up to 81.7, well above the pandemic low but lingering far below pre-pandemic levels, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.
The weakness was led by a drop in participation for Black women and Latino men. The figure, which shows how many people are employed or looking for work out of the total working-age population, highlights a shrinking worker pool since the Covid-19 pandemic upended the labor market last year.
“While the strength of employment was an encouraging sign that labor demand remains strong, labor supply remains very weak,” Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics Ltd., wrote in a note to clients. The 104,000 increase in the labor force “is not even enough to even keep pace with population growth.”
U.S. job openings also remain near a record high as positions go unfilled. The data underscores that employers will need to continue boosting wages and offering other incentives to lure employees back.
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