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Has the US jobs boom peaked?

By Philip Smith

Business survey indicates recent employment bonanza may be waning

Has the US jobs boom peaked

US businesses are not confident of continuing on an upward trajectory when it comes to jobs creation, according to a survey of business leaders.

The National Association for Business Economics’ (NABE) fourth-quarter business conditions survey indicates the US labour market may have peaked. While the unemployment rate remains low, the survey indicates that momentum has slowed from the brisk pace experienced a year ago.

Falling unemployment rates have been one of President Donald Trump’s much proclaimed successes, so news that those levels may slightly rise in this election year will not be well received at the White House or across the US industrial belt.

The survey showed that jobs declined in the services, goods-producing, transportation, utilities, information and communications industries. There were gains in employment in the finance, insurance and real estate sectors.

The NABE results confirm a US government report which showed 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 Megan Greene, who heads the NABE Business Conditions Survey.

The slowdown in employment gains has been blamed on worker shortages and trade tensions, especially the US-China trade dispute. “This [fall] may have been due to difficulty finding workers rather than a pullback in demand,” she added.

FURTHER READING: US jobs growth sends Dow rocketing, FTSE up after tariff news

FURTHER READING: US job growth sees a slowdown

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