- Weekly Wizdom
- A New Year Ahead
A New Year Ahead
As 2024 begins, economic data this week will still reflect the last weeks of 2023 with a bevy of reports on the state of the labor market.
This week’s focal points include the ISM Manufacturing PMI, Fed Minutes, and crucial employment data. The market eagerly anticipates the non-farm payrolls and average hourly earnings data for more insights into the labor market’s health.
Friday’s employment report from the Labor Department is expected to show around 170,000 jobs were created. That would be down from November’s 199,000 but is aligned with predictions for a cooling job market in 2024. The unemployment rate could also tick up from its current 3.7% level.
Wednesday brings a report on job openings for November, and forecasts are for a number close to 8.9 million – an increase from the 8.7 million of October, in line with a slow return to balance between supply and demand.
Private payroll firm ADP releases its monthly job survey for December on Thursday, with 115,000 jobs expected to be added, up from 103,000 in November.
The central bank’s December meeting minutes will be released on Wednesday afternoon. Although the Fed held interest rates steady at the meeting, Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference was seen as dovish by the markets, leading to their pricing in a round of rate cuts this year. When the reduction begins is another matter, with economists divided between March and May.
Friday, we have Non-Farm payrolls and Average Hourly Earnings at 8:30 am. Similar to JOLTS earlier in the week, these numbers focus on employment, and this was a hot issue last year with rising prices and fairly stagnant wages. Also important, but potentially not a market mover, is the Average Hourly Earnings. This is a proxy for inflation for the market. You want to see this number sit steady or drop overall.
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