Fed hikes continue to slow down hiring for both small firms and for the broader economy, see charts below. The labor market is softening with hours worked, the number of job openings, and the quits rate all declining.
This is how monetary policy works; higher costs of capital slow down capex spending and hiring, and with rates staying at these levels for a couple of years, this process is going to continue.
That is why the consensus expects negative nonfarm payrolls for six months from October 2023 to March 2024.
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