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Why Job Market Resilience May Lead to US Fed Interest Rate Hike

2 mins
Updated by Ali Martinez
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In Brief

  • Some 263,000 more people were employed in the United States in September, according to the latest jobs report.
  • The unemployment rate also dropped to 3.5% in Sept, down from 3.7% the month prior.
  • The persistence in hiring will likely force the Federal Reserve to continue pursuing higher interest rates to cool down inflation.
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Employment in the United States increased by 263,000 in Sept., according to the latest job market report from the US Labor Department.

While this figure demonstrates the resilience of the U.S. labor market, it also represents a drop from the additional 315,000 jobs gained during the month prior.

Stock futures reacted particularly badly to the news, with Dow Jones Industrial Average futures falling 300 points, or 1%, S&P 500 futures losing 1.3%, while futures tied to the Nasdaq 100 dropped 1.8%.

Meanwhile, crypto markets also slipped in reaction to the news, with Bitcoin dropping over 2%, with a reported $12 million in liquidations, and Ethereum down 1.75% over the past hour. 

Source: Coin360

The latest employment situation summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics highlighted significant job gains in the leisure, hospitality, and healthcare sectors.

The 263,000 figure generally fell in line with estimates, which ranged between 250,000, according to forecasters surveyed by FactSet, and 275,000, according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones. 

Unemployment drop may force Fed’s hand

According to the latest jobs report, the unemployment rate edged back down to 3.5%, its level during July, from 3.7% in Aug., with a total of 5.8 million unemployed in Sept. 

Although the Federal Reserve had hoped for a moderation in hiring, the drop in the number of unemployed means it will likely continue to aggressively raise interest rates to cool inflation at its next rate decision anticipated on Nov. 2. 

Job vacancies dropping suggests cooling market

The latest jobs report came on the heels of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, released by the Bureau earlier this week. The most significant drop in job openings over the past two and a half years had suggested that the labor market was starting to cool.

Yet, “even as higher interest rates and inflation, and weaker business and consumer confidence are beginning to tamp down labor market activity, the labor market still remains healthy,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics.

“We expect that the Fed is not yet ready to pause.” With the latest figures in place, this will likely be the case.

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Nicholas Pongratz
Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage.