RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Brand new employment numbers released Friday show just how resilient the American labor market seems to be right now but does not ease inflation concerns or fears of a recession.
The U.S. Labor Department reported employers added 261,000 new jobs in October. It's much more than economists predicted, but many experts were expecting the labor market to cool off as interest rates went up to tame inflation.
A mixed bag of economic news
On Moore Square, Friday, Yana Soler and her family of four were visiting downtown from northeast Raleigh, where the majority of their economic pain comes in the form of inflated grocery prices and gas for the family car.
"To fill up our minivan was like $80. And that's a lot of money," Soler said. "I mean (the jobs report) is really good news that there's more jobs but it all depends if the jobs are paying enough to offset all the inflation. I think it's a little complicated."
It's very complicated
The U.S. Federal Reserve was closely watching the jobs report to see if its aggressive efforts to bring down inflation by raising interest rates were working. The central bank would like to see evidence the labor market is softening -- just not softening enough to trigger a recession.
Raleigh economist Mike Walden has been predicting a coming recession for months. The new jobs report hasn't changed his mind.
"If you have a job, keep it. Because you don't know if things are going to deteriorate very very quickly," Walden said.
Raleigh resident Neesy Green did the opposite of Walden's advice.
"I was part of the great resignation," said Green who after 20 years in retail banking quit three months ago.
Despite the economic headwinds, Green went to work for herself.
"I just walked into the bank, and I said 'I don't think I want to do this anymore,'" Green recalled. "The economy was waiting on me. We need to go out and get the jobs that fulfill us instead of doing jobs that are telling us who we are."
While U.S. hiring remains strong, other parts of the economy including the housing market are showing signs of weakening under the Fed's inflation plan. Policy makers indicate the Fed will keep raising rates but might slow the pace of the increases.