1. SEPTEMBER JOBS REPORT • The US economy added 336,000 new jobs in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost double the consensus forecasts. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8%. • September’s employment growth was the highest since January, reflecting continued economic and labor market growth despite higher interest rates and falling business sentiment. • While the figures are strong, gains were mostly seen in industries that had lagged during the post-COVID recovery, and some economists suggest that this may reflect workers being forced to accept positions with lower pay as the breadth of opportunities dwindled. • Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2% during the month and 4.2% year-over-year, both measures growing at their slowest all year. • The report has expectedly brought closer inspection of the Federal Reserve’s upcoming interest rate decision. However, fed futures markets have overwhelmingly foreseen a no-hike scenario at the FOMC’s November policy meeting.
2. JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER • Preceding September’s jobs report was the BLS’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which showed that job openings rose larger than expected in August, a leading indicator of the labor demand that caught some forecasters off-guard after the recent jobs report. • Openings rose to 9.6 million, with hires and total separations remaining stable at 5.9 million and 5.7 million, respectively. Among separations, quits and layoffs/discharges were mostly unchanged at 3.6 million and 1.7 million, respectively. • Following the report, markets fell out of concern that the Federal Reserve would renew its rate increases in the face of a continuing hot labor market. However, futures markets have remained firm on a no-hike forecast for the November meeting.