Mixed reactions from inflation-wary Raleigh residents as US adds 261,000 jobs
RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — New jobs numbers released on Friday show how resilient the U.S. job market looks at the moment, but don’t allay inflation fears or fears of a recession.
The US Department of Labor reported that employers created 261,000 new jobs in October. That’s far more than economists had predicted, but many pundits expected the labor market to cool as interest rates rose to keep inflation in check.
A mixed bag of economic news
In Moore Square on Friday, Yana Soler and her family of four were visiting downtown from northeast Raleigh, where the majority of their economic hardship comes in the form of inflated grocery prices and gas for the family car.
“To fill our van was like $80. And that’s a lot of money,” Soler said. “I mean (the jobs report) is very good news that there are more jobs, but it all depends on whether the jobs are paying enough to offset all the inflation. I think that’s a bit complicated.”
It’s very complicated
The US Federal Reserve was watching the jobs report closely to see if its aggressive efforts to reduce inflation by raising interest rates were working. The central bank would like to see evidence that the labor market is softening – but not enough to trigger a recession.
Raleigh economist Mike Walden has been predicting a coming recession for months. The new jobs report hasn’t changed his mind.
“If you have a job, keep it. Because you don’t know if things are going to go downhill very, very quickly,” Walden said.
Raleigh resident Neesy Green did the opposite of Walden’s advice.
“I was part of the big quit,” said Green, who after 20 years in retail banking quit three months ago.
Despite economic headwinds, Green went to work for herself.
“I just walked into the bank and said, ‘I don’t think I want to do this anymore,'” Green recalled. “The economy was waiting for me. We have to go out and find the jobs that fulfill us instead of doing the jobs that tell us who we are.”
While U.S. hiring remains strong, other sectors of the economy, including the housing market, are showing signs of weakening under the Fed’s inflation plan. Policymakers indicate that the Fed will continue to raise rates, but may slow the pace of increases.
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