U.S. September Job Growth Likely to Slow as Fed Hikes Take Effect

Job growth is likely to have slowed in September after a series of massive interest rate hikes pierced the US economy, but a lower nonfarm payroll gain is unlikely to stop policymakers from taking aggressive monetary action to combat inflation, which remains at a decades-high.

The Labor Department is set to release its latest monthly jobs report on Friday.

The unemployment rate is forecast to remain unchanged at 3.7% in September, with strong annual wage gains anticipated from the Labor Department report.

Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have increased by 250,000 last month, following a 315,000 increase in August. This would be the lowest monthly reading since December 2020, but it would still be significantly higher than the average monthly reading in the 2010s of 167,000. 

Any improvement in September employment figures would be a welcome indication for Fed officials attempting to calm an exceptionally tight labor market that has put upward pressure on salaries and contributed to rising prices, according to economists at Yahoo Finance.

“Thursday’s weekly jobless claims should mean little for Friday’s monthly payroll jobs with the survey week already past, but the anecdotal signs are getting more noticeable that jobs aren’t as plentiful as they were,” FWDBONDS Chief Economist Christopher Rupkey wrote in a note. “The worry of central bankers won’t be shifting from inflation to the economy yet, but the signs are there and the danger of overdoing it is as well.”