Joe Biden brought in another month of a strong economy. The just-released jobs report showed payroll numbers increased by 263,000, which was nearly spot on for the Dow Jones estimate. Unemployment numbers came in lower than the anticipated 3.7 percent at 3.5 percent. Given that the economy was “largely in line with expectations,” the September report indicated a “resilient jobs market.”
Hourly wages ranged from 3.3 percent up 0.3 percent in the month of September. That moved directly along the line of expectations, which registered 5 percent in 2021. Meaning that wages were significantly above those prior to the pandemic. However, they did fall 0.1 percent lower than anticipated.
The payroll figure dropped to its lowest uptick since April 2021, when the country was in the midst of a COVID pandemic. Chief Investment Strategist for Charles Schwab Liz Ann Sonders remarked on the strong economy, according to CNBC News:
‘Depending on your view of optimism vs. pessimism, on the economy, there’s a little bit of something for everyone in this report. Obviously, the market is not happy, but the market is not happy in general these days.’
Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LPL Financial said:
‘[The report] really just shows that the consumer and corporate side have been very resilient despite the headwinds of the Russia-Ukraine war, rising interest rates and slowing housing market. It could add to the story of a soft landing [for the economy] that for a while seemed fairly elusive.’
State and local government jobs accounted for a large portion of the decrease in jobs. They dropped 25,000 based on seasonal hiring:
‘Among those who left the market, were people who were working part-time and “discouraged workers.” There was a “sharper decline, from 6.7 percent to 7 percent.’
Leisure and hospitality:
‘[L]ed the gains with an increase of 83,000, a gain that still left the industry 1.1 million jobs short of its February 2020 pre-pandemic levels.’
- ‘Health Care “added 60,000” jobs.
- Professional and business services added 46,000.
- Manufacturing contributed 22,000.
- Construction was up 19,000.
- [W]holesale trade was up 11,000.’
As usual, stocks fell upon the good news, but “government bond yields rose.” Those were the numbers investors sought to give “an indication of how the Federal Reserve will react as it tries to tamp down inflation.”
The Fed has been working to circumvent any negative impact by raising rates a significant five times resulting in a 3 percent increase in rates. This was the blunt tool the Federal Reserve has continued to use to improve the economy’s health. Thus far, there was no indication of whether rates would continue to move upward.
According to the September report:
‘Despite the increases, job growth had remained relatively strong as companies face a massive mismatch between supply and demand that has left about 1.7 job openings for every available worker. That in turn has helped drive up wages, though the increase in average hourly earnings has fallen well short of the inflation rate, which most recently was at 8.3%.’
Chief Economist at Northern Trust Carl Tannenbaum told The New York Times:
‘If I had just woken up from a really long nap and seen these numbers, I would conclude that we still have one of the strongest job markets that we’ve ever enjoyed.”
The labor force declined by 57,000 in September. This might reflect the number of people who once forced out of the economy made the decision to remain at home. This has traditionally been the economic point when immigration increases to replace those workers.
Officials at the Fed said the rate hikes were likely to cause “some pain” in President Biden’s economy. However, the Federal Open Market Committee members relayed that it anticipated a September increase in unemployment, approximately 4.4 percent throughout 2023. Then, it expected that number to move down to a generic 4 percentage points.