Friday, December 2, 2016

"Economists React to the November Jobs Report: ‘Paves the Way for Fed Rate Hikes’"

From Real Time Economics:
The Labor Department on Friday reported that U.S. nonfarm employers added a seasonally adjusted 178,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, its lowest level since August 2007. The workforce-participation rate edged lower and average hourly earnings for private-sector workers softened. Here’s how economists and analysts reacted to the news.

Today’s jobs report sets a baseline for the Trump administration. Jobs gains were solid, led by professional and business services and construction. But manufacturing jobs fell yet again in November. The president-elect faces strong headwinds in bringing those jobs back. And recent wage gains and unemployment declines make this a tough economy to improve on.” —Jed Kolko, Indeed
“The decline in the unemployment rate to a new cyclical low of 4.6% last month, from 4.9%, was due to a combination of a 160,000 increase in the household survey measure of employment together with a 226,000 decline in the labor force….The upshot is that the labor market appears to be approaching full employment.” —Paul Ashworth, Capital Economics

This jobs report paves the way for Fed rate hikes. It also tops off a recent run of continually positive economic data.” —Jason Schenker, Prestige Economics

“In our view, this report easily clears the bar for a December rate hike and represents some of the continued progress towards the dual mandate that the committee desires. Of course, it could decide that the tightening of financial conditions since September is sufficiently large to forestall a hike, but we consider that to be very unlikely at this point.” —Michael Gapen and Rob Martin, Barclays
“Overall, the report shows modest job gains, which is not totally unexpected given the uncertainty surrounding the election.” —Joe Carson, AllianceBernstein

“Perhaps the most surprising development was the sharp decline in the unemployment rate, which fell to 4.6%—a nine-year low. Economists had respected it to remain steady at 4.9%. Positive job creation certainly contributed to that drop, but unanticipated declines in the civilian labor force and the labor-force participation rate reduced the estimated rolls of the unemployed by 387,000. It’s quite likely that both of those factors will move higher in the coming months. As such, it’s possible that the jobless rate could edge higher in the coming months—even if the recent trend in job creation remains positive—before resuming its downward trend.” —Jim Baird, Plante Moran Financial Advisors

This was the last hurdle on the path to a December hike, and it has been cleared convincingly. It is now incredibly hard to imagine what would stop the Fed from going. The debate now is all about what rates will do next year and beyond.” —Luke Bartholomew, Aberdeen Asset Management