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The September jobs report released today is a key fundamental metric about the state of the US economy that can move it significantly. Here are the latest expectations about this September 2021 jobs report and what it could mean for stocks today.
“U.S. employers likely hired at a stronger rate in September after a disappointing August, with more individuals returning to the workforce as new coronavirus infections slowed and other pressures on the labor market at least temporarily abated.
The Labor Department is set to release its September jobs report Friday morning. Here are the main metrics expected from the report, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:
Change in non-farm payrolls, September: +500,000 expected, +235,000 in August
Unemployment rate: 5.1% expected, 5.2% in August
Average hourly earnings, month-over-month: 0.4% expected, 0.6% in August
Average hourly earnings, year-over-year: 4.6% expected, 4.3% in August
Non-farm payrolls are expected to pick up from August’s much weaker-than-expected print, when renewed fears over the coronavirus deterred more workers from reentering the labor market.
The September report is also expected to show a ninth consecutive month of net payroll gains in the U.S. economy. But even after months of growth, total employment has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. The civilian labor force is still down by 2.9 million individuals, compared to February 2020.
“I think we’re going to see another solid report,” ADP Chief Economist Nela Richardson told Yahoo Finance Live. “The main driver, really the hero of the jobs recovery, is going to be the one sector that was the hardest hit. That’s leisure and hospitality.”
Leisure and hospitality employers had added a net zero jobs in August after adding around 400,000 in each of June and July, as the resurgence of the Delta variant weighed on high-contact industries. But the August report was expected to have reflected an only temporary moment of hiring weakness in the service sector, given that coronavirus cases moderated in recent weeks.
In addition to falling new infection rates, a number of other factors may have helped boost hiring in September. Federal enhanced unemployment benefits expired nationally on Sept. 6, or just before the Labor Department’s jobs report survey period during the week of Sept. 12. And many schools and daycares resumed in-person operations, helping alleviate some of the child care burdens that had kept others out of the workforce over the course of the pandemic.
While the early impacts of these developments may show up in September, further improvements are even more likely in the coming months, some economists noted.
“Whatever happened in September, we expect much bigger increases in payrolls over the next few months as Delta fades away, and as labor supply rebounds after the ending of enhanced benefits and the reopening of schools and child care facilities,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a note on Thursday.”