Comment on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Report: Kathy Bostjancic, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis, The Conference Board

NEW YORK, Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Hiring Outpaces the Economy
With a gain of 155,000 jobs in December, the employment situation continues to improve despite slower output growth in Q4 2012 that will likely persist through the first half of 2013. The current moderate pace of hiring could be sustainable if companies believe that economic growth is poised to accelerate a bit in the second half of the year as the fiscal drag wanes and the housing recovery strengthens. The key to boosting the labor market is stronger demand – a task made slightly more difficult with new higher withholding rates. Additional uncertainty surrounding the next round of political wrangling over the fiscal budget also leads businesses to be hesitant in hiring new workers. Weakened business and consumer confidence doesn't bode well for any acceleration in the hiring trend.

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

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