HomeTop U.S. NewsJobs Report Expected to Show Hiring Slowdown

Jobs Report Expected to Show Hiring Slowdown

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release the U.S. Jobs Report for February on Friday morning, with investors eagerly awaiting this data as a means of gauging the health of the U.S. jobs market and whether January’s surprise pickup will indeed sustain.

Nonfarm payrolls are expected to rise by 200,000 in February, while the unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 3.7%, as was the case in January. In January, 353,000 jobs were added to the economy, meaning that a slowdown in hiring over February is expected. The average weekly hours worked for February is expected to be 34.3, compared to 34.1 in January. On a monthly basis, average hourly earnings are expected to rise by 0.2%, compared to a 0.6% increase in January. On a yearly basis, average hourly earnings are expected to rise by 4.3%, compared to a 4.5% rise in January.

Oxford Economics lead U.S. economist Nancy Vanden Houten believes that this jobs report would encourage the Federal Reserve to introduce interest rate cuts as early as May if it meets analysts’ expectations. “After an overheated surge in January, we expect a cooler, but still solid, pace of job growth in February and expect the spike in earnings growth to be reversed. A report that is stronger than we forecasted would raise the risk that the first Federal Reserve rate cut comes later than May, which is currently our baseline,” she wrote in a note to clients.

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