Re­port Fri­day May Show Job Mar­ket’s Strength

The Bond Buyer - - Market News -

In­vestors primed for mod­er­a­tion in the U.S. la­bor mar­ket may be sur­prised by the strength of Novem­ber’s jobs re­port, though some cool­ing is still likely in 2019.

Sea­sonal, weather and in­dus­try fac­tors are set to prop up the em­ploy­ment and wage fig­ures due Fri­day from the La­bor Depart­ment.

Some Amer­i­cans re­turned to work fol­low­ing hur­ri­canes in the prior two months, while re­tail and re­lated in­dus­tries prob­a­bly hired aplenty for what’s ex­pected to be a strong hol­i­day-shop­ping pe­riod. Also, Ama­zon.com Inc.’s Nov. 1 wage hike may help pay.

“We’re not fall­ing off a cliff,” said Scott An­der­son, chief econ­o­mist at Bank of the West. “In fact, we’re ex­pect­ing to see pretty good wage growth in these num­bers. It’s still a very de­cent job mar­ket out there.” While the broader econ­omy may be start­ing to man­i­fest signs of a slow­down, “that’s not go­ing to show up in Fri­day’s pay­roll num­bers,” he said.

While the me­dian es­ti­mate of econ­o­mists for a Novem­ber gain of al­most 200,000 jobs is be­low Oc­to­ber’s 250,000, that’s still more than healthy and in line with the av­er­age of the past two years. Av­er­age hourly earn­ings are pro­jected to ad­vance 3.1% from a year ear­lier for a sec­ond straight month, after top­ping 3% for the first time in nearly a decade. The un­em­ploy­ment rate prob­a­bly held at 3.7%, the low­est since 1969.

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