The U.S. Labor Department will release its newest report on the strength of the labor market at 8:30 ET on Friday. Here are some things to look for in the August jobs report.
Another good month is expected. The news on jobs has been very good lately.
ADP, the firm that processes paychecks, said this week that private-sector businesses added 237,000 jobs last month, the biggest gain in five months and up from 201,000 in July. Claims for jobless benefits have also stayed relatively low, suggesting that few people are being laid off.
Economists are forecasting that employers added between 180,000 and 190,000 jobs in August, down from the 209,000 in July.
Don’t worry about Harvey – for now. Hurricane Harvey has caused massive temporary job losses along the Texas Gulf Coast, but they won’t show up on Friday.
The Labor Department collected the numbers behind the August report before the storm hit Texas. Harvey’s impact could show up in the September jobs report if numerous businesses in the region are still closed two weeks from now. The storm could also give a lift to employment when cleanup and reconstruction begins.
How the jobless view the job market: The unemployment rate, which counts the people without jobs who have looked for work recently, is expected to stay at 4.3%, close to what is considered to be “full employment.”
But if the unemployment rate goes up slightly, it could be a sign of confidence in the job market. That’s if the increase happens because more job seekers who had stopped trying to find work returned to the labor market to start looking again.
Trump vs. Obama: Last month the total number of jobs created in the first six months of President Trump’s tenure reached 1,074,000 jobs.
Trump is slightly behind the 1,084,000 jobs that were added during Obama’s last six months in office. Odds are Obama will again remain ahead of Trump after August’s report — the monthly number will have to be about 300,000 to top the 1.4 million jobs added during Obama’s last seven months in office.