US hiring slows as employers add 315,000 still strong jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers slowed hiring in August in the face of rising interest rates, high inflation and weak consumer spending, but still added 315,000 jobs.

The government reported on Friday that last month’s job gain was down from 526,000 in July and below the average gain of the previous three months. The jobless rate rose to 3.7% from a half-century low of 3.5% in July as more Americans pulled out to look for work.

Although job creation declined from July, the report still points to a resilient labor market and an economy that is not near recession. The number of people looking for work surged last month, pushing up the unemployment rate as not all found jobs immediately. The influx of job seekers is expected to help employers fill a near record number of vacancies over the coming months.

August’s smaller gain will likely be welcomed by the Federal Reserve. The Fed is rapidly raising interest rates in an attempt to rein in historically strong hiring and wage growth. Businesses typically pass the cost of higher wages onto their customers through higher prices, thus fueling inflation.

Fed officials are hoping that by raising borrowing costs across the economy, they can bring inflation down from a nearly 40-year high. Some economists, however, fear that the Fed is tightening credit so aggressively that it will end up tipping the economy into recession.


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