Report Friday May Show Job Market’s Strength
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.