Daily NewsView All News
Economic activity generally continued to improve, according to the new Federal Reserve Beige Book report released Wednesday.
Some businesses, however, reported actual or expected disruptions to sales and production as a result of the tragedy in Japan.
Most districts reported signs of improvement in at least some of their labor markets and Boston, Richmond, Chicago and Kansas City districts cited examples of concern among their contacts about being able to obtain certain types of skilled workers. Some businesses in the Philadelphia and Cleveland districts still preferred to hire temporary over permanent workers.
Staffing firms in New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City and Dallas districts all noted increased employment activity, while Boston and Atlanta reported modest or gradual improvement. However, Philadelphia, Cleveland and San Francisco districts mentioned limited or delayed hiring, while labor market conditions were mixed in the St. Louis District.
Boston, New York, Cleveland, Richmond and Dallas districts cited noticeable improvements in the manufacturing sector, and Boston and Kansas observed increased labor demand in the technology sector.
Staffing firms reported wage pressures to be mostly contained, according to the Beige Book, especially in the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Dallas and San Francisco districts. However, Richmond reported slightly faster wage increases and Boston reported that nearly all of the manufacturing firms that they contacted planned to implement merit increases.
Philadelphia noted some concern about rising nonwage employment costs, but wages for business firms in the district were mostly steady.