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September jobs report: Expect growth, early signs of economic stall

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Lindsey Knewstub

On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release unemployment figures for the month of September.

Russell Weaver, an economic geographer with Cornell University’s ILR School Buffalo Co-Lab, says while Friday’s BLS data is expected to show job growth, it is also likely to illustrate signs of forthcoming economic slowdown.

Russell Weaver

Director of Research, ILR Buffalo Co-Lab

“On Friday, it is expected the monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will show that the economy netted around 200,000 jobs in September. Although that figure would mark the lowest month-over-month gain in jobs so far this calendar year, it comes at a time of low unemployment and high labor demand.

“In that context, the anticipated growth is still quite strong. However, with recent Federal Reserve Board interest rate hikes aimed at curbing inflation, and at least one more such hike on the horizon, the months of strong job growth could be winding down. Namely, the Fed’s actions to stabilize prices are expected to nudge the unemployment rate up through at least the end of 2023. It is anticipated that more than one million workers – disproportionately low-wage workers and workers of color – will be added to the unemployment count over that time.

“Thus, while Friday’s BLS data release should include some positive news for those anxious to see more job growth, it may also contain some early signs of forthcoming economic slowdown.”

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