The latest job market summary for September from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the U.S. labor market has begun to slow; still, the Federal Reserve is monitoring hiring rates to determine if it will continue to raise interest rates, per The New York Times.
The labor market's resilience continues to challenge the Federal Reserve, which is working to cut job growth enough to tackle inflation. In the report released Friday, the Labor Department said employers added 263,000 open positions in September, a decrease from the 315,000 added in August. The unemployment rate also decreased from 3.7 percent to 3.5 over the last month.
As Federal Reserve officials prepare for their next interest rate decision on Nov. 2, they are closely monitoring labor data, hoping to see evidence that their aggressive approach has cooled the market enough to fight inflation without leading to a recession, the Times reports. Though the market remains "robust," Friday's numbers do suggest a slowdown in line with the Fed's expectations, CNN reports.
Employers have recently shown they are beginning to curtail hiring. Job openings declined by 1.2 million between July and August. Some corporations, like Walmart and Amazon, have announced plans to slow hiring, while others, like FedEx, have initiated a complete hiring freeze.
With only one job market report remaining before midterm elections, the Times predicts that candidates from both parties will likely use the Friday data to boost their positions as "the best stewards of the economy."