Share

A strong jobs report could provide reassurance on economy

Share

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even with fear of a global economic slump depressing stock markets, Friday’s jobs report for December is expected to offer reassurance that the U.S. economy remains sturdy and on track to expand for a 10th straight year.

Economists have forecast that the Labor Department will report that employers added a solid 180,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate stayed at a five-decade low of 3.7 percent, according to the financial data firm FactSet.

The expectation of continued strength in hiring would contrast with the chaos of the stock market, a raging trade war, a partial shutdown of the government and the perception of growing risks for the economy.

Major companies such as Apple say their sales are being jeopardized by the tariff-fueled trade war between the United States and China. Factory activity in China and the United States have both weakened, with the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. manufacturing index on Thursday posting its steepest decline in a decade.

The government is about to enter its third week of a partial shutdown, with negotiations stalled over President Donald Trump’s insistence that Democrats agree on funding for a wall along the border with Mexico. And attacks by Trump on the Federal Reserve over its rate increases have raised doubts about Chairman Jay Powell’s status — a concern for both the markets and the economy.

Trending:
$181 Million Settlement Means Americans in 24 States Who Bought Chicken Between 2009 and 2020 Could Be Eligible for Payout

But the expected continuation of steady job growth suggests that such risks might be — for the moment, anyway — overblown. Average hourly earnings are expected to have climbed 3 percent from a year ago, up from a year-over-year gain of 2.7 percent at the end of 2017.

Payroll processor ADP said Thursday that private businesses added a robust 271,000 jobs in December, a sign that companies expect decent growth to continue despite the overhang of risks.

And businesses are still searching for more workers. The employment site Glassdoor found that job postings have risen 17 percent in the past year to 6.7 million.

“We really don’t see any slowdown yet,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor.

Hiring has been unusually strong as the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.7 percent — a 49-year low — from 4.1 percent at the start of 2018. Economists estimate that it requires roughly 100,000 job gains each month to satisfy population growth and keep the unemployment rate at its current level.

But hiring has easily eclipsed that pace. During the first 11 months of 2018, employers added 2.27 million jobs, or an average of 206,182 a month, according to the Labor Department.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation