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Weekly Economic Update: March 12, 2024

Presented by Nicholas Wealth Management Unemployment at a 2-Year High

While the stock markets are mostly rallying, the labor market appears to be cooling down. According to the latest findings from the Labor Department, the U.S. jobless rate reached a two-year high in February after an unexpected climb from 3.7% to 3.9%. On Wednesday, the Labor Department announced that job openings had fallen in January to their lowest levels in three months. Despite the fall in openings, however, hiring remains strong. Employers added 275,000 jobs in February, 75,000 more than what had been predicted. Meanwhile, hourly earnings rose 0.1% in February compared to 0.5% in January — a positive sign for inflation. The decrease in job openings could also be a result of fewer workers leaving their jobs. While the pandemic marked an era of record high numbers of workers seeking out greener pastures with other employers, the Labor Department reports that the rate of workers voluntarily leaving jobs fell to its lowest level since August 2020. Coming this week