U.S. Hiring Stays Robust as Jobless Rate Falls, Wages Pick Up
“The U.S. added close to half a million jobs in March and the unemployment rate fell by more than expected, highlighting a robust labor market that’s likely to support aggressive Federal Reserve tightening in the coming months. Nonfarm payrolls increased 431,000 last month after an upwardly revised 750,000 gain in February, a Labor Department report showed Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, near its pre-pandemic low, and the labor force participation rate ticked up. Wage gains accelerated.”
China Crushed Covid. But Covid Zero Could Crush China
“China’s Covid Zero strategy has been drastic and effective, saving lives and keeping the economy on track. But a new wave of virus cases is highlighting the growing costs of that approach – as well as the perils of any attempt to change it. Authorities are fighting to curb the spread of the omicron variant among a population that lacks natural immunity and only has access to home-grown vaccines that are less effective than some of the global alternatives. Shanghai – the country’s financial center – is locking down just weeks after the technology hub of Shenzhen was forced to do so.”
Sharp Price Rises Push Millions in U.K. Toward Poverty Overnight
“The cost of heating a home, taking a shower or cooking a meal rose to new heights for millions of people in the U.K. on Friday as household energy prices hit a record, days before a payroll tax increase also comes into force. The overnight surge in living costs, which pushes up the burden on Britons already facing high inflation, will see the average domestic energy bill increase by 693 pounds ($911) over the next year as a result of sharp rises in wholesale prices.”
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