Hiring cooled off in April - should we be worried?

U.S. companies didn't do much hiring last month. According to the Labor Department's latest report, only 160,000 jobs were added in April -- considerably fewer than the 197,000 jobs economists had anticipated. As a result, the unemployment rate stayed at 5%.

This has many people worried that the U.S. economy has slowed, despite two years of strong hiring. The disappointing report adds fuel to the argument that 2016 has gotten off to a slow start. And we all know that when the U.S. economy is mired in a slump, it has serious implications for the rest of the world.

I check the job boards every so often and still don't see as many positions available now -- at least not in my industry -- as in 2007, right before the recession struck. 

Still, many Americans have begun looking for work in recent months, hopeful they can find better-paying opportunities.

April saw a decent lift in wages -- which grew 2.5% annually -- but that's still below the 3% to 3.5% that's characteristic of a healthy economy.

The slowdown in hiring means the Fed is unlikely to raise interest rates until after the 2016 presidential election.

While the worst is probably behind us, it's clear the economy is still not out of the woods. Consumers are still leery about spending when they know wages remain low and jobs aren't plentiful. The next U.S. president will have his or her work cut out for them.

Are you seeing robust hiring in your area?

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