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
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 63°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 54°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 55°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 63°
Danville
Mostly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 62°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 57°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 58°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 58°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 54°
Some More Frost & Light Freezing Ahead......
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 704632

Reported Deaths: 13211
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion961411718
Lake51322943
Allen39040670
Hamilton34368405
St. Joseph33865539
Elkhart27197431
Vanderburgh22050394
Tippecanoe21725212
Johnson17475374
Porter17240298
Hendricks16754310
Clark12663190
Madison12321337
Vigo12172244
Monroe11417166
LaPorte10841204
Delaware10325184
Howard9629211
Kosciusko9098113
Hancock7954139
Bartholomew7867155
Warrick7680155
Floyd7543176
Wayne6887198
Grant6773171
Boone6524100
Morgan6379138
Dubois6074117
Marshall5770108
Dearborn568576
Cass5678102
Henry5569100
Noble539383
Jackson492869
Shelby478295
Lawrence4336118
Gibson427789
Harrison427570
Clinton417753
Montgomery417286
DeKalb407984
Huntington377480
Whitley376339
Miami371765
Knox365789
Steuben363357
Putnam352360
Jasper347546
Wabash347377
Adams337852
Ripley333468
Jefferson312180
White307854
Daviess289399
Wells285581
Decatur278592
Fayette277162
Greene270485
Posey268433
Scott260853
Clay253044
LaGrange252170
Randolph234680
Washington230631
Spencer227531
Jennings224747
Fountain208245
Sullivan207542
Starke202652
Owen191956
Fulton190939
Jay185829
Carroll185620
Perry179736
Orange176753
Rush170624
Vermillion165943
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144316
Blackford133331
Pike130234
Pulaski113245
Newton103034
Brown99740
Crawford97514
Benton96413
Martin82515
Warren79315
Switzerland7698
Union69710
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

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