It's getting hot in here, don't lay off all your staff : The Indicator from Planet Money The U.S. economy is red hot, adding 517,000 jobs in January. Unemployment is at its lowest rate in more than 50 years. So why are there so many jobs when there's talk about a possible recession?

One idea that's been talked about is labor hoarding, where employers hold onto more staff than they need. That's because the costs of rehiring are so high.

We find that the answer is more complex — and maybe a little more optimistic as well.

For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.

Is it hot in here, or is it just the new jobs numbers?

Is it hot in here, or is it just the new jobs numbers?

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Mike Kaeding, center, is the CEO of Norhart, a company that builds, manages and maintains apartment buildings. Courtesy of Norhart hide caption

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Courtesy of Norhart

Mike Kaeding, center, is the CEO of Norhart, a company that builds, manages and maintains apartment buildings.

Courtesy of Norhart

517,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in January, nearly double the 260,000 jobs created the month before. Unemployment is also at its lowest rate in more than 50 years, at 3.4%. So why are there so many jobs when interest rates are rising and there's a lot of talk about a possible recession?

One idea being talked about is labor hoarding, where employers hold onto more staff than they need. That's because the costs of rehiring are so high.

We find that the answer is more complex — and maybe a little more optimistic as well.

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For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.