US job growth picks up, hiring remains challenge: Fed

US employment growth has recently picked up, but hiring remains a “widespread” challenge, the Federal Reserve said.

“The pace of job growth varied by industry but was generally strongest in manufacturing, construction, and leisure and hospitality,” the central bank said in its latest Beige Book released on Wednesday.

“Hiring remained a widespread challenge, particularly for low-wage or hourly workers, restraining job growth in some cases,” it continued.

The Beige Book, published eight times per year, contains economic reports from 12 Federal Reserve districts, each of which is monitored by a regional Federal Reserve Bank, reports Xinhua news agency.

The latest report was based on information collected on or before April 5.

The Fed noted that wage growth accelerated “slightly” overall, with more significant wage pressures in industries like manufacturing and construction where finding and retaining workers was “particularly difficult”.

According to the report, national economic activity accelerated to a moderate pace from late February to early April, with consumer spending strengthened.

Reports on tourism were more upbeat, bolstered by a pickup in demand for leisure activities and travel which contacts attributed to spring break, an easing of pandemic-related restrictions, increased vaccinations, and recent stimulus payments among other factors, the report noted.

Outlooks were more optimistic than in the previous report, boosted in part by an acceleration in Covid-19 vaccinations, it said.

The report also noted that prices accelerated slightly since the last report, with many Districts reporting moderate price increases and some saying prices rose more robustly.