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US payrolls are seen picking up after end of UAW strike

Tan KW
Publish date: Sun, 03 Dec 2023, 08:43 AM
Tan KW
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The return of striking United Auto Workers to vehicle assembly lines is seen driving a pickup in November payrolls, representing a pause in the recent trend of moderating US employment growth.

Government data on Friday are projected to show payrolls in the world’s largest economy increased by 180,000 after a 150,000 October advance. Such a print would still leave average job growth over the past three months down about 100,000 from the pace seen earlier in the year.

The unemployment rate is forecast to hold at 3.9%, the highest since the start of 2022. That’s also consistent with softer labour-market conditions and more restrained wage growth, helping soothe concerns about inflation and supporting assessments that the Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates.

The jobs report is forecast to show November average hourly earnings increased 4% from a year ago, the smallest annual advance since mid-2021.

“November’s job report will send mixed signals about the state of the labor market. A solid nonfarm payroll print following a resolution to the UAW strikes will contrast with a weak household survey, where we expect the unemployment rate to edge up to 4.0%. Our view is that the economy is likely in a turning point toward a recession,” said Bloomberg economists.

Fed officials will observe a blackout period ahead of their Dec 12-13 policy meeting, the last for 2023. Fed chair Jerome Powell pushed back on Friday against growing expectations for interest-rate cuts in the first half of 2024.

Resilient hiring and wage gains have been at the root of robust consumer spending in recent months. While the current pace of job gains is consistent with further economic growth, any broader and deeper hiring slowdown would raise the risk of a recession.

Separate figures are projected to show a three-month low in job openings, indicating a gradual loosening of labour demand. Weekly jobless claims will also be watched closely for signs of a pickup in outright dismissals.

Already, the number of people on jobless benefit rolls stands at a two-year high, indicating out-of-work Americans are finding it more difficult to secure another job.

Further north, the majority of forecasters in a Bloomberg survey expect the Bank of Canada on Wednesday to hold rates steady at 5% for a third straight meeting. The Canadian economy unexpectedly shrank in the third quarter and consumer spending has stalled, confirming the central bank’s aggressive rate increases are working to curb growth.

Elsewhere, borrowing costs are also predicted to stay unchanged in India, Australia, Poland and across Africa. Beyond central banking, China’s President Xi Jinping hosts the European Union’s Ursula von der Leyen, and the bloc’s finance chiefs will try to agree on new fiscal rules.


  - Bloomberg


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