Fed Beige Book: Labor Market Rises, Loan Demand Remains Unchanged

The Federal Reserve Board April 2024 Beige Book shows a slight bump in labor markets and business activity. Photo credit: Shutterstock (Paul Brady)

Posted April 18, 2024

The Federal Reserve Board released the Beige Book for April, showing slight economic growth in the Tenth District while community and regional banking activity remained nearly unchanged.

The Tenth District, or the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, reported economy expanded slightly compared to last month. Due in part to the bump is an increase in hiring activity in the service sector. Service sector job growth was offset by mild decreases in employment at manufacturing firms. While some sectors are experiencing higher job growth, most employers have noted low satisfaction and performance among low-level new hires.

Additionally, foreign-born workers available for hire increased in the District, however, few contacts indicated immigrant workers were a notable source of new labor supply, according to the Fed.

The district’s business activity also expanded slightly month-over-month. The manufacturing sector reported fewer contracts but business activity was offset by another increase in service contracts. Manufacturing firms expressed interest in labor-saving technologies that would automate labor-intensive skills like welding and metal fabrication, according to the Fed.

Loan demand among Tenth District banks remained unchanged from the previous month. Demand for residential mortgage loans grew as more borrowers adapted to higher interest rates compared to past years. Tenth District bankers also reported a moderate rise in deposit levels in addition to deposit rates stabilizing.

View the full Federal Reserve Board Beige Book February 2024 report, here.