CUNA Senior Economist Dawit Kebede issued the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s September Employment Situation:
“Employers added 336,000 jobs in September, twice as much as consensus expectation. The labor market had shown signs of moderation in the previous three months, with an average growth of 150,000 jobs per month after the downward revision of June and July hirings. However, this report revised up July and August hirings by a combined 119,000. This puts the average job gains in the past three months at 266,000, which is stronger than previous reports indicate. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8%.
“Average hourly earnings increased by 0.2% in September, equivalent to an annualized growth rate of 2.4%. The increase in August was also similar. This is a modest growth rate despite stronger-than-expected hiring growth, which alleviates the concern of inflation pressures coming from wage growth.
“The strong hiring growth in this report, and the increase in vacancies released this week in the job openings and labor turnover survey, may make markets expect more hikes in the federal funds rate. However, wage growth consistent with the Federal Reserve’s inflation target of 2%, improved labor supply, and core-inflation on a downtrend should ease this expectation.”