US labour market may have peaked, job growth could slow, Latest Business News - The New Paper

US labour market may have peaked, job growth could slow

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTON: There is an even balance in the share of US businesses reporting decreases and increases in employment for the first time in a decade, a survey showed yesterday, the latest suggestion that the labour market has likely peaked and job growth could slow this year.

The findings of the National Association for Business Economics' fourth-quarter business conditions survey followed on the heels of a government report showing job openings falling by the most in more than four years in November.

"For the first time in a decade, there are as many respondents reporting decreases as increases in employment at their firms than in the previous three months," said the association's business conditions survey chair Megan Greene.

"However, this may have been due to difficulty finding workers rather than a pullback in demand."

The survey is based on the responses of 97 association members on business conditions in their companies or industries. It was conducted between Dec 23 and Jan 8 and reflects conditions in the fourth quarter and the near-term outlook.

According to the survey, the declines in employment were in the services, goods-producing and transportation, utilities, information, and communications industries. There were gains in employment in the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors.

Though job growth remains solid, momentum has slowed from the brisk pace experienced at the end of 2018 and the beginning of last year. - REUTERS