September surprise: jobs report gives ‘strong headline figure’

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed 336,000 jobs were added in September, while gains in August and July were revised up 40,000 and 79,000, respectively. NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long provided insights in a new Macro Data Flash report.

“The September employment report flashed a surprisingly strong headline figure, but the details were more subdued,” said Long. “Job growth zoomed past expectations at +336k, but the household survey from which the unemployment figure is derived showed more modest growth. More importantly, wage growth sunk to its lowest level in 18 months.”

The unemployment rate held at 3.8 percent in September, and the labor force participation rate remained at 62.8 percent. Year-over-year wage growth fell to 4.2 percent, with average hourly earnings rising just 0.2 percent during the month.

“NAFCU still believes that the Fed is done hiking, but with the labor market showing no signs of immediate trouble, hopes for a rate cut in the near term are unfounded,” Long concluded.


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