January job growth expected to slow as companies put the brake on hiring
Wall Street facing ‘steep sell-off’ if January jobs number comes in hot: Bauer
Prosper Trading Academy CEO Scott Bauer and Muhlenkamp & Company Portfolio Manager Jeff Muhlenkamp discuss if January’s impressive stock market gains will continue on “The Claman Countdown.”
U.S. job growth in January likely slowed from last year, but hiring probably remained solid despite growing headwinds from higher interest rates and stubbornly high inflation.
The Labor Department on Friday morning is releasing its closely watched January payroll report, which is projected to show that hiring increased by 185,000 last month and that the unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.6%, according to a median estimate by Refinitiv economists.
That would mark a drop from the 223,000 gain in December and would be the weakest monthly job growth since December 2020.
While monthly jobs data is always important, the Federal Reserve has been closely watching the reports for signs that the labor market is starting to slow down from its torrid pace as policymakers try to wrestle inflation under control. Although the Consumer Price Index has cooled slightly from a peak of 9.1% in June, it remains about three times higher than the pre-pandemic average.
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A hotter-than-expected figure on Friday could be a worrisome sign for the U.S. central bank, which has already approved eight straight interest rate hikes and signaled that it intends to keep rates elevated for "some time."
The labor market has remained historically tight for most of the year. A separate report released Wednesday showed there were about 11 million job openings in December, or roughly 1.9 available positions per unemployed worker. The number of available jobs has now topped 10 million for 13 consecutive months; before the pandemic began in February 2020, the highest on record was 7.7 million.
But there are growing signs that the labor market is starting to weaken.
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