The January jobs report will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Economists forecast that employers added 180,000 nonfarm payrolls on net last month. And, they expect that the unemployment rate remained at a 17-year low of 4.1%, according to Bloomberg.
Many of the economic data points that precede the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report on Friday point to a still-strong labor market, even after softer-than-expected gains in December. They include readings on unemployment claims, job openings, and even anecdotal complaints from employers who want to hire but can’t find people with the skills they want.
“Even if December’s payroll number did mark the start of a softer trend, the extraordinary strength in almost all indicators of labor demand means that we’d be inclined to see smaller payroll gains as a symptom of the tightness of supply,” said Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a preview.
Wages, however, may tell a different story — the same one of sluggish growth that it’s told since the recession.
Also, there’s a calendar quirk for January, in that the BLS conducts its survey in the week of the 12th day of every month. But when the 15th — payday for some workers — falls outside of that week as it did last month, some employers may not have reported what they paid.
Average hourly earnings are forecast to increase 0.2% month-on-month, and 2.6% year-on-year.