Business hiring is holding up, allaying concerns of some economists about a U.S. economic downdraft in the face of the so-called fiscal cliff, Bloomberg reported.
Companies added an average 121,000 workers a month in the third quarter, up from 88,000 in the second quarter, according to U.S. Labor Department figures released on Oct. 5. Total payrolls, including government, increased an average 146,000 a month, compared with 67,000 in the prior period.
"We're not seeing a further loss of momentum, and that's a very important positive," said Bruce Kasman, chief economist for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York.
A pullback in business investment had fanned concerns that companies would begin to pare hiring in anticipation of $600 billion in government spending cuts and tax increases that are scheduled for January 2013, creating what is called the fiscal cliff. The Congressional Budget Office has warned that the economy will fall into recession if Congress allows the fiscal squeeze to go ahead.
The jobs numbers suggest that the economy is expanding at a "trend-like pace" of around 2 percent, Kasman said. That would be in line with the 2.2 percent average quarterly growth rate of gross domestic product since the 18-month recession ended in June 2009, Bloomberg said. Click here to read more.