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Beige Book: Employment growth modest

October 17 2013

Employment growth remained modest in September, according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report released this week. Several districts reported that contacts were cautious to expand payrolls, citing uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and fiscal policy in general.

Demand for staffing services increased in the New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Minneapolis districts, with New York citing strong demand for information technology occupations and Cleveland highlighting healthcare and manufacturing. However, staffing service activity was down slightly in the Chicago and Dallas districts.

Retail hiring was primarily limited to staffing of new stores in the Cleveland and Dallas districts, while contacts in Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Chicago reported that hiring for the holiday season would be about the same as last year.

In manufacturing, Boston indicated that hiring primarily was for replacement or to fill key needs, New York noted slower job growth, and Chicago reported that manufacturers were cutting back on overtime. Dallas cited scattered reports of hiring in high-tech, fabricated metals, and food manufacturing.

Demand for skilled labor remained high in many districts. Examples included technology, healthcare and engineering occupations in Richmond; economic and health consulting in Boston; legal and compliance positions in the financial services industry in New York; and accountants and financial analysts in the Dallas district.

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