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Key Labor Market Reports This Week to Shed Light on Economy

Key Labor Market Reports This Week (5/31) to Shed Light on Economy 

Fresh jobs data this week are bound to be closely watched by the Federal Reserve as it heads into its June meeting. They include the job openings survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday (5/31) morning, and the nonfarm payrolls and unemployment report for May, coming Friday.

  • Economists expect a slight decline in hiring and job separations as of the end of April, including 9.44 million job openings. That estimate is 150,000 fewer than in March. Job openings fell below 10 million in February¬†for the first time¬†since May 2021.
  • A harbinger of Friday‚Äôs more comprehensive reading on the job market comes out on Thursday, with ADP‚Äôs National Employment Report for May. The economy is expected to have added 170,000 private sector jobs, fewer than in April. The¬†bulk of jobs gained¬†have been services sector jobs.
  • Futures traders are divided on the Fed‚Äôs¬†next interest-rate move, despite data showing inflation has been cooling in recent weeks. The CME FedWatch tool gives a 62% probability of a quarter of a percentage point increase next month, and a 38% probability of a pause.
  • The Conference Board‚Äôs Consumer Confidence Index for May comes out today. Expectations are for a 100 reading, about one point less than April‚Äôs figure of 101.3. The index of¬†what consumers think of business¬†and labor market conditions is at its lowest level since last summer.

What’s Next: Economists expect Friday’s job report to show a gain of 200,000 nonfarm jobs in May, slower than April’s pace. May’s unemployment rate is expected to tick up to 3.5%, from 3.4% in the prior month. Average hourly earnings are forecast to increase 4.3% from the same time last year.

‚ÄĒNicholas Jasinski and Janet H. Cho from Barrons¬†