Fed ready to handle September jobs report with kid gloves

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(Businesshala) – US hiring may have accelerated last month, a series of high-frequency indicators suggest, as the effects of the latest COVID-19 surge are beginning to subside, but even a second straight weakening The employment report would be unlikely to derail the Federal Reserve. plans to begin reducing its support for the economy.

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell attends a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill on September 30, 2021 in Washington, US. El Drago/Pool via Businesshala

Ahead of the US Labor Department’s release on Friday of the non-farm payrolls report for September, data from firms tracking work patterns indicate results in line with the average estimate of 500,000 jobs gains in a Businesshala poll of economists. And that may be more than enough.

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Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated last month that there was broad agreement among policymakers to begin reducing the US central bank’s $120 billion in monthly asset purchases as early as November, until September’s US jobs report. , in the words of Powell, is “decent”. Even the Fed’s most fearless policymakers — Minneapolis Fed Chairman Neil Kashkari and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans — have called for a rollback of quantitative easing last year to stem the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Willingness to go with the timeline is indicated.

“We think the bar for QE tapering will be met as long as the payroll print is above zero,” said Lydia Boussour, principal US economist at Oxford Economics. Bussour predicts that 384,000 jobs were received last month.

On Thursday, the way for monetary policy to normalize was cleared after US lawmakers reached a tentative agreement to raise the federal government’s debt limit. The move averts a potential loan default later this month that would have forced the Fed to get back into crisis-fighting mode.

The latest surge in US coronavirus cases peaked in mid-September. Estimates are mixed on how much of the loss occurred on job growth during the month. The lowest estimate in a Businesshala poll is for an overall gain of 250,000 jobs in September; The highest is 700,000.

The ADP National Employment Report, which has a poor track record of predicting a comprehensive Labor Department report but provides some clues, said on Wednesday private payrolls increased by 568,000 last month, beating economists’ expectations, as restaurants and Other in-person businesses started hiring.

Payroll Data from Homebase joinhomebase.com/data September saw a 5% drop in employment among 50,000 small businesses, but it said the decline was likely due to seasonal effects rather than underlying weakness.

A report this week from payroll management firm UKG showed that the number of shifts worked by US workers stabilized in September after falling in August. UKG vice-president Dave Gilbertson said this was broadly in line with economists’ current projections of employment growth last month.

Shifts worked in the leisure and hospitality sectors declined during the month, possibly due to workers exiting in-person jobs when possible due to concerns about the virus.

And work in manufacturing, Gilbertson noted, rose below normal for September, possibly reflecting supply chain constraints and potentially worsening for the retail sector during the upcoming holiday season.

“We know for certain that it (job growth in September) did not accelerate the way people were expecting it to accelerate, but we can also say that it is not an accident,” he said. Was.”

virus economy

Forecasts from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that daily COVID-19 infections will continue to decline in the coming weeks. Most economists expect job gains to accelerate further as the year progresses.

Jefferies economist Anita Markowska expects Friday’s report to see an overall gain of 300,000 jobs and a decline in leisure and retail jobs, most recently for working in high-contact jobs during a surge in COVID-19 cases. Shows the reluctance of some people.

However, Markowska expects the trend to reverse in the event of a drop in cases. “Restaurant bookings, domestic flight activity and hotel occupancy/rates all appear to be on the downside, and we expect further gains as offices reopen, business travel resumes, and private travel around the holidays. happens,” she wrote this week.

a paper Here The researchers, published this week by the Chicago Fed, injected a note of caution into that projection.

Scott Brave, an economist, and his colleagues looked at how well COVID-19 vaccination is protecting the labor market from the negative impact of a recent surge in cases.

By the end of September, they found, “the positive effects of rising vaccination rates were enough to offset the negative effects of the recent resurgence in the virus.”

While immunizations look like they will continue to “win the race” for the next month or two,” Bahadur said, gains in the job market have already halted and if projections of another coronavirus surge at the end of the year are correct. If proven, it could be bad.

Reporting by Ann Safir; Editing by Dan Burns and Paul Simao

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