U.S. Outlook: Moderate job growth continues in January

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

Here we are at day 35 of the federal government shutdown and economic releases are getting scarce. But next week Busy, crowded street scene in Times Square, NYCshould be an interesting one. We get January employment data from both ADP and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

We are expecting some deceleration in job growth from December’s blistering 312K pace, but our forecasts remain somewhat above the consensus expectations.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on Jan. 25.

Key observations:
  • The drop in initial jobless claims in January to a new 49- year low is both unexpected during a month’s long federal government shutdown and a testament to the residual strength of the U.S. expansion.
  • We are forecasting a nonfarm payroll gain of 175K jobs in January, with the unemployment rate dropping to 3.8% and healthy monthly average hourly earnings growth of 0.3%.
  • Job growth could remain strong enough in the first half of 2019 to justify another rate hike by June.

Read my full report.

U.S. Outlook 12519 Jobless claims

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