It report Friday from the Ministry of Labor showed the unemployment rate fell slightly from 3.7% to 3.5%, returning to July levels. The unemployment rate in July and this month hit the lowest levels since The outbreak erupted two years ago. The numbers are a dose of encouraging news that may mean the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool the job market and reduce inflation are starting to kick in.
A survey of economists by data firm FactSet estimates that employers will add 250,000 jobs.
The Fed is engaged in an epic battle to control inflation, which hit a 40-year high in June and has eased only slightly since. The Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate five times this year. It aims to slow economic growth enough to reduce annual price increases back to the 2% target.
It has a long way to go. In August, one of the main measures of year-on-year inflation, the consumer price index, stood at 8.3%.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell haswarned bluntly that the inflation war would “bring pain,”especially in the form of layoffs and higher unemployment. Some economists remain hopeful that despite persistent inflationary pressures, the Fed will still manage to achieve a so-called soft landing: The growth slowdown is enough to tame inflation, without going too far to steer the economy into recession.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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