Temperatures Drop but Hiring Heats Up

October 25, 2023 | Peter Como, Associate Research Analyst

This chart description is for illustrative purposes only and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Please see full disclosures at end of PDF document in the web post. General description: Combination column and line chart showing job adds and U.S. unemployment rate. Chart subtitle: Nonfarm payrolls blew through consensus estimates in September, increasing by 336,000 during the month. Chart source: Bloomberg as of September 30, 2023. Chart description: Left Y-axis is labeled “Job Adds (Thousands)” and ranges from 0 to 1,000. Right Y-axis is labeled “Unemployment Rate” and ranges from 0% to 10%. X-axis ranges from Jan-21 to Sep-23 in monthly increments. Job Adds are plotted in light purple columns; Job Adds – Historical Average is plotted in purple dotted line at 120,000. Unemployment Rate is plotted in dark blue line. Most recent data for September 2023 is 336,000 jobs added and 3.8% unemployment. Please contact us for the full dataset. End chart description. See disclosures at end of document.

A few weeks ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that total nonfarm payrolls rose by 336,000 during the month of September. This figure was roughly double that of the Dow Jones consensus estimate and more than 100,000 higher than the job gains posted during the previous month of August. These increases occurred across a variety of industries, including leisure and hospitality (96,000 job adds), health care (41,000 job adds), and professional, scientific, and technical services (29,000 job adds). Government employment also increased by 73,000 during the month. Additionally, the unemployment rate remained constant at 3.8% in September, and both of these data points can be observed in this week’s chart.

The robust job gains notched in September beg the natural question: How will a strong domestic labor market impact upcoming decisions of the Federal Reserve as it relates to the path of interest rates? Clearly, labor market data is supportive of “higher for longer” messaging, especially since inflation remains above the central bank’s long-run target of 2%. Based on futures markets, most forecasters believe that it is not until the middle of 2024 that the Fed’s policy rate will ultimately come down. In the more immediate term, futures markets indicate the likelihood of a pause at the next FOMC meeting, however, any decisions after that will depend on additional inflation and labor market data. Marquette will continue to monitor dynamics within the domestic labor market, assess current and future Fed policy, and provide guidance to clients accordingly.

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Peter Como
Associate Research Analyst

Get to Know Peter Como

The opinions expressed herein are those of Marquette Associates, Inc. (“Marquette”), and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to purchase or sell any product. Marquette reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

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