The State of the U.S. Labor Market

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This week, all eyes will be on the U.S. labor market as the Federal Reserve’s December meeting approaches. The release of November payrolls data and the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) will be the key highlights. On the earnings front, the third-quarter earnings season has come to a close, making this a relatively calm week.

November Payrolls Data and JOLTS

According to economists, it is expected that there will be 175,000 new nonfarm payrolls in November, following a gain of 150,000 in October. The unemployment rate is forecasted to remain steady at 3.9%. These important statistics will be released on Jobs Friday.

Another significant report to watch out for is Tuesday’s JOLTS for October. This report is expected to show approximately 9.4 million unfilled positions on the last day of the month, slightly lower than September’s numbers.

Taking both of these data points into account, it suggests that while the labor market remains relatively tight in the U.S., the situation is not as drastic as it was earlier this year.

Other Economic Data

Aside from the labor market reports, there are a few other noteworthy economic releases this week. On Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management’s Services Purchasing Managers’ Index for November will be published. Then, on Friday, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment index for December will be released.

Earnings Reports

In terms of earnings reports, this week kicks off with companies like AutoZone and J.M. Smucker reporting on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Campbell Soup and Brown-Forman will announce their earnings. Lastly, Broadcom and Dollar General will report on Thursday.

Monday 12/04

  • GitLab reports third-quarter fiscal-2024 results.

Tuesday 12/05

  • AutoZone, J.M. Smucker, MongoDB, NIO, and Toll Brothers announce earnings.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Economists forecast 9.35 million job openings on the last business day of October, about 200,000 fewer than in September. Currently, there are 1.5 open positions for every unemployed worker, which is a decrease from the peak of two in March of 2022, but still relatively high compared to historical data.

Economic News and Reports

The Institute for Supply Management releases its Services Purchasing Managers’ Index for November, with expectations for a reading of 51.8, the same as October.

Quarterly Results

  • Brown-Forman
  • Campbell Soup
  • Chewy
  • Veeva Systems

ADP releases its National Employment Report for November, where the consensus estimate is a gain of 125,000 private-sector jobs, which is 12,000 more than October. It’s worth noting that the median annual pay raise in October for workers who changed jobs was 8.4%, the smallest increase since July 2021. In contrast, pay growth for individuals who remained at their current positions was 5.7%, marking the slowest pace of growth since October 2021.

Thursday 12/07

Conference calls to discuss earnings:
  • Broadcom
  • Cooper Cos.
  • Dollar General
  • lululemon athletica

Friday 12/08

The BLS releases the jobs report for November. Economists are forecasting an increase of 175,000 in nonfarm payrolls, which is 25,000 more than October. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 3.9%. Jobs growth has slowed down this year to an average of 238,800 per month after two years of monthly gains averaging slightly over 500,000.

The University of Michigan releases its Consumer Sentiment index for December, with the consensus calling for a reading of 61.5, roughly the same as November. It’s interesting to note that consumers’ expectations for year-ahead inflation in November reached 4.5%, the highest level since April.

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