Strong jobs report expected ahead of midterms

Economists expect positive October jobs numbers from the Labor Department on Friday.In a poll conduct...

Posted: Nov 1, 2018 6:50 PM
Updated: Nov 1, 2018 6:50 PM

Economists expect positive October jobs numbers from the Labor Department on Friday.

In a poll conducted by Refinitiv, economists estimate that the economy added 190,000 new jobs in October, despite continued disruption from hurricanes. That would equal the average over the 20 months since Trump took office.

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Labor and employment

Labor sector performance

Midterm elections

Politics

Donald Trump

Political Figures - US

Business, economy and trade

Economy and economic indicators

Government bodies and offices

US federal government

White House

Compensation and benefits

Wages and salaries

They also anticipate that the unemployment rate held steady at its 49-year low of 3.7%. Paychecks are also expected to grow faster than they have in recent years.

The employment cost index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday showed wages and salaries rose 2.9% over the year ending in September.

A strong jobs number could give President Donald Trump a potential boost heading into the last weekend of the campaign. It would shore up Trump's economic message going into the weekend, after a month of market turmoil that has mostly erased gains for the year for the major indices.

At a White House event promoting workforce training on Wednesday, Trump touted the fact that for several months job openings have exceeded the number of people looking for work for the first time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking openings in 2000.

"You didn't have a choice just a few years ago, and now you have a choice," Trump said. "We actually need workers now. That's a good thing to be saying."

The economy also grew at a quick clip in the third quarter, posting 3.5% growth propelled largely by government and consumer spending. Consumer confidence reached its highest level in 18 years in October.

However, signs of trouble are looming on the horizon.

Most economists expect growth to slow down as any effect from the business tax cuts wear off. Business investment already slowed markedly in the third quarter, especially on commercial buildings.

The housing market has also run into trouble as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates. New monthly home sales have fallen 22% since their post-recession high of 712,000 in November 2017 and new residential investment has declined for the past three quarters.

Although inflation remains low, that may start to change. Manufacturers across the country are reporting sharp increases in costs for raw materials, partly as a consequence of the White House's tariffs, and they're starting to pass them on to clients as much as they can.

The National Association of Business Economics' business conditions survey, which asks 127 corporate economists how their firms are doing, found that their price index reached the highest point since 2006 in October. Among goods-producing companies, 38% said they had delayed investments because of the ongoing trade war.

None of this is expected to lead to a crash similar to what happened a decade ago — but the risk of a recession rises if the tariff tit-for-tat between the United States and the rest of the world escalates enough to freeze international trade, or if the Fed starts raising interest rates too fast in response to the labor market overheating. As minutes of recent Fed meetings and speeches by Fed presidents indicate, they're well aware of the dangers.

Said Atlanta Fed president Ralph Bostic: "I intend to weigh the risk of acting too swiftly and choking off the expansion against the risk of having the economy overheat and get into a situation with rising inflation and inflation expectations that would necessitate a muscular policy response."

Lafayette
Mostly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: °
Kokomo
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 16°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 16°
Lafayette
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: °
Danville
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 28°
Frankfort
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 15°
Frankfort
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 15°
Monticello
Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 15°
Monticello
Mostly Cloudy
21° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 15°
Logansport
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Some snow Wednesday to Wednesday night.....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 614946

Reported Deaths: 9807
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion849231342
Lake45784693
Allen33103560
Hamilton29752316
St. Joseph27572383
Elkhart24496346
Vanderburgh19679255
Tippecanoe18150144
Johnson15234296
Porter14970172
Hendricks14550253
Madison11071223
Clark10852145
Vigo10819185
Monroe9496115
Delaware9193136
LaPorte9173164
Howard8325148
Kosciusko811485
Warrick683399
Hancock6783106
Bartholomew6659100
Floyd6522113
Wayne6194164
Grant6050118
Dubois559081
Boone557968
Morgan551996
Henry512365
Marshall507884
Dearborn488745
Cass487864
Noble476159
Jackson428747
Shelby423381
Lawrence395180
Clinton375845
Gibson375560
Harrison354046
DeKalb351365
Montgomery349754
Knox337839
Miami325244
Steuben315846
Whitley313126
Wabash306951
Adams303636
Ripley301646
Putnam299152
Huntington295760
Jasper293035
White275943
Daviess271776
Jefferson267738
Decatur249983
Fayette249949
Greene242763
Posey241828
Wells237551
LaGrange230363
Scott227939
Clay225032
Randolph215848
Jennings200937
Spencer193622
Sullivan193633
Washington189023
Fountain185227
Starke177044
Jay168723
Owen168338
Fulton165430
Orange161035
Carroll160616
Rush156418
Perry156129
Vermillion150034
Franklin149933
Tipton134433
Parke13098
Pike118826
Blackford112023
Pulaski97937
Newton92621
Brown88835
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin75013
Warren6867
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4967
Unassigned0375

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events