- Associated Press - Saturday, May 20, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - Economists say uncertainty surrounding the federal budget process is likely partially to blame for a slowdown in hiring in the Washington metropolitan area.

The Washington Post reports (http://wapo.st/2r3ySGj ) that the metropolitan area added 38,000 jobs in the one-year period that ended in April. That’s the smallest growth it has seen since employers had to halt hiring in 2014 due to automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

Economists say businesses are likely waiting to see what happens with the budget process before approving new hires. They say the slowdown could also be caused in part to President Donald Trump’s plans to shrink the federal workforce.

Stephen Fuller, an economist with George Mason University, says he can’t point to anything out of the ordinary “other than the change in the political environment.”

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Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

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