Hiring slowed, wages fell
The latest jobs report released today could spell trouble for the US economy—and workers.
According to analysts, the economy underperformed in terms of jobs created. Experts surveyed by CNNMoney estimated that we would see a net gain of 204,000 jobs in this report; gains in excess of 200,000 are considered “healthy,” so this was an optimistic prediction. In reality, however, the economy only added 142,000 jobs in September—an “unhealthy” diagnosis.
The unemployment held steady at 5.1%; however, labor force participation rate dropped to 62.4 percent (from 62.6 percent), and the three month average for job creation has stagnated well below 200,000.
More via the NY Times:
Friday’s report came just two weeks after the Federal Reserve decided that the recovery was still too frail to risk lifting interest rates from their near-zero level. The latest evidence of a weakening economy may push any rate increase into next year even though the Fed chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, had previously suggested that the central bank was likely to go ahead with a rate increase before year’s end.
“There’s nothing good in this morning’s report,” said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust in Chicago. “We had very low levels of job creation, wage growth isn’t budging, and the unemployment rate would have risen if the labor force participation rate hadn’t fallen.”
The Labor Department also released revised numbers from July and August; they overestimated the number of jobs created this summer (in July by 22,000 and in August by 37,000) which experts believe is a signal that the greater global economic slowdown is beginning to affect the US job market.
According to Reuters, the report’s had negative effects across the board on the domestic and global markets:
“You can’t throw lipstick on this pig of a report,” said Brian Jacobsen, a portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
The weak job growth took Wall Street by surprise and U.S. stocks sold off sharply. The dollar also weakened and yields for government bonds fell.
Bets on interest rate futures showed investors only saw a 27 percent chance of a Fed rate hike in December, down from around 44 percent before the job report’s release.
“(With) a weak report here, in combination with some of the other weakness that we are seeing across the globe, the odds get dinged for December,” said Tom Porcelli, an economist at RBC Capital Markets.
Investors saw virtually no chance the Fed would end its near-zero interest rate policy at its only other scheduled meeting this year, to be held later in October.
CNBC has a helpful breakdown of how jobs and business growth affects the market, and what it means for the rest of the year:
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