Jobs day is upon us once again.
At 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday, the Bureau of Labour Statistics will publish details of how the US labour market performed in March.
Via Bloomberg, here’s what Wall Street is expecting:
- Nonfarm payrolls:+205,000
- Unemployment rate: 4.9%
- Average hourly earnings month-on-month: +0.2%
- Average hourly earnings year-on-year: +2.2%
- Average weekly hours worked: 34.5
In public speeches in March, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reaffirmed her view that the labour market will continue to be a key driver of economic growth, and that inflation will move towards the Fed’s 2% objective.
“Highlighted by Fed Chair Yellen this past week, employment growth has been solid in recent months,” wrote Wells Fargo’s Sam Bullard in a client preview.
“By sector, we expect to see continued broad based gains, though particular attention will be paid to retailers (which have been strong, on average, over the past four months) and manufacturing (which was particularly weak in February),” Bullard wrote.
Yellen this month highlighted the labour force participation rate, which has been rising since late last year. It was 62.9% in February, after falling to a 38-year low of 62.4% in September.
That’s partly because of the large number of job openings available, which is attracting people back into the workplace.
The number of people joining the labour force is near a record high.
But because the rate is driven more by long-term demographics, it’s likely to continue falling, according to Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain.
He said three things sum up the decline: retiring baby boomers (born after 1945), people who study longer for advanced degrees, and the rise in the number of people on disability insurance who choose to not work.
“The labour force participation rate is not done dropping,” Chamberlain told Business Insider. “It’s probably going to drop closer to 60% in the coming years.”
Average hourly earnings are expected to rise in March, following an unexpected 0.1% decline prior.
Like the participation rate, this has also been one of the laggards of the labour-market recovery.
Yellen said the lack of evidence of a broad-based pickup in wages — despite lots of anecdotal reports of pressures — is proof that the economy is not at full employment. She noted that wage growth is isolated to certain sectors.
“I do think that consistent with the 2% inflation objective that there is certainly scope for further increases in wages,” Yellen said at the post-FOMC-meeting press conference.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.