Here's What To Expect From The August US Jobs Report (SPY, DIA, QQQ, IWM, TLT)

Myles Udland

Don't forget about the jobs report.

It's been a big week for economic news, with manufacturing data in the U.S. remaining strong and the European Central Bank unexpectedly cutting interest rates.

But on Friday morning, we get the August jobs report to bring it home.

Here's a brief recap of Wall Street's expectation, via Bloomberg:

  • Nonfarm payrolls: +230,000
  • Unemployment rate: 6.1%
  • Average hourly earnings, month-over-month: +0.2%
  • Average hourly earnings, year-over-year: +2.1%
  • Average weekly hours worked: 34.5

With Friday's jobs report, the U.S. economy will be looking to make it seven straight months with monthly payroll gains over 200,000, adding to its current streak which is the longest since 1997.

Friday's jobs report will also be the final report before the Federal Reserve meets on September 16-17 for its next monetary policy meeting. 

Expectations are for the unemployment rate to fall slightly, to 6.1% from 6.2% in July, and as usual, the labor force participation rate will remain in focus. 

In July, the labor force participation rate ticked up slightly — to 62.9% from 62.8%, where it had been for three straight months — but this rate still remains at historically low levels.

Janet Yellen addressed this low-participation puzzle in her speech at Jackson Hole, but you know, since she's an economist, said on one hand this could be a structural thing, on the other hand, cyclical. 

So we'll see.

What Wall Street's Saying

Dean Maki and Michael Gapen at Barclays expect the report to show the economy added 200,000 jobs in August, writing that, "after a three-month bump in the pace of payroll growth, coinciding with the rebound in activity in Q2, we look for payroll growth to settle into a more consistent run rate in the second half of the year." Maki and Gapen also see the unemployment rate falling to 6.1%. 

Kris Dawsey at Goldman Sachs sees payrolls coming in at 240,000, and said, "With no special factors on weather, strikes, unusual composition in the prior month, fiscal policy issues, or obvious seasonal distortions, we think the August report should be a fairly 'clean read' on the likely-strengthening underlying trend."

Ethan Harris at Bank of America Merrill Lynch sees a larger gain in payrolls — 245,000 — as well as an unemployment rate that falls to 6.1%. On the wage front, Harris sees potential for a larger monthly gain in hourly earnings than is being forecast given that wages were flat month-over-month in July. 

Paul Dales at Capital Economics sees payrolls coming in at 225,000, writing that, "There are no real reasons to believe that the 209,000 increase in payrolls in July, which was the smallest rise in four months, is the start of a sustained slowdown in job growth."

Joe LaVorgna at Deutsche Bank sees payrolls coming in at 200,000, and Jim O'Sullivan at High Frequency Economics sees payrolls growing by 225,000. 

According to data from Bloomberg, the high estimate among Wall Street economists is 300,000, with the low estimate coming in at 190,000. 

We'll see you Friday morning for complete live coverage on Business Insider. 

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