Job Growth Projected To Slow In Late 2024 Amid Stagflation Fears

A new report from The Conference Board suggests job growth in the United States may stall in the second half of 2024. The research group’s Employment Trends Index fell from 112.16 in March to 111.25 in April, indicating a potential decline in job growth as the index continues to trend downward.

The slowdown in hiring projections is fueling significant concerns that the U.S. economy is on the brink of stagflation, a situation characterized by low economic growth, high unemployment, and elevated inflation. “The ETI fell in April, a sign that employment growth could stall in the second half of 2024,” said Will Baltrus, an associate economist at The Conference Board.

Despite the downward trajectory since its peak in March 2022, Baltrus noted that the index remains historically elevated and above pre-pandemic levels, suggesting aggregate job losses are less likely than a slowdown in employment growth. The factors contributing to the index’s decrease include negative changes in the percentage of respondents who found jobs hard to get, the ratio of involuntary part-time workers to all part-time workers, and the number of employees hired in temporary positions.

The Conference Board projects that slowing consumer demand for goods and services will be the primary driver of rising unemployment shortly. In April, the unemployment rate remained low at 3.9% while the number of jobs added totaled 175,000, falling short of economists’ expectations of 243,000.

U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) measured just 1.6% in the first quarter of 2024 and inflation rose 3.5% year-over-year in March, leading many market watchers to speculate that the economy is experiencing stagflation. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has criticized claims of economic stalling, pointing to low unemployment and underlying growth in certain aspects of GDP.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation regarding the Conference Board’s report and concerns about stagflation. As the Employment Trends Index continues its downward trend, the possibility of a slowdown in job growth during the latter half of 2024 remains a significant concern for the U.S. economy.