Finding workers remained difficult in early April and late May — especially for lower-wage hourly workers, truck drivers and skilled tradespeople — according to the latest US Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report released Wednesday. Wage growth remained moderate, and staffing firms in several Districts cited increased demand.

Here’s what a number of individual Federal Reserve districts found:

Boston district: Labor demand strengthened and signing bonuses and enhanced recruiting efforts were increasingly mentioned. Two out of four staffing firms said the first quarter had been their strongest quarter since before the pandemic, with sales increases as high as 28%. Staffing firms described labor demand as robust across most fields; demand was especially strong for direct hires in skilled positions. Conversions from temporary to permanent employment increased.

New York district: A major New York City employment agency noted a significant increase in hiring and a greater sense of urgency to fill open positions. Meanwhile, an upstate employment agency noted increased hiring activity for both payroll and contract workers and indicated that filling job openings has been challenging. Many business contacts ranked staffing as a top concern, especially at the lower end of the wage spectrum; driving the concern was a combination of workers’ health concerns, child-care constraints and unemployment benefits.

Philadelphia district: Nearly all firms reported difficulty hiring sufficient labor. Contacts at staffing firms reported ongoing demand for workers, unusually high levels of open orders and a dearth of qualified job candidates. However, staffing firms did note that perceived demand may be overstated by clients placing orders with more staffing firms than is typical.

Cleveland district: One staffing company contact remarked that he turned away prospective clients that offered starting wages of less than $13 per hour because he would not be able to find anyone at that wage.

St. Louis district: A job fair in St. Louis to hire more than 100 restaurant positions drew only about a dozen applicants. Contacts attributed this to increasing demand for labor in other sectors, unemployment benefits and workers’ healthcare and child-care concerns.

Minneapolis district: A Minnesota staffing firm with multiple offices said every location had at least 100 job openings.

Overall, the US economy expanded at a moderate pace from early April to late May. The impact of more people becoming vaccinated was felt most on consumer spending, with more spending on leisure travel and restaurant.