- The anticipated employment report from the Labor Department may lower expectations of an interest rate cut in the financial market, with annual wage growth predicted to maintain a steady pace last month.
- With the Federal Reserve leaving interest rates unchanged, Jerome Powell, the Fed Chair, has spoken highly of the economic stability and suggested a gradual reduction in interest rates over the coming months.
- Economists suggest the focus should pivot to labour productivity amid reports of several big layoffs such as United Parcel Service announcing 12,000 layoffs this week.
- January layoffs, seen as a spillover from the year’s end, along with winter storms, are believed to encourage job count increment when adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.
- Businesses are considering reducing their workforce size by cutting hours or trimming temporary hires, wary of letting go staff due to the labour scarcity during and post the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Deeper Look into Employment Report and Interest Rates
The forthcoming employment report from the Labor Department can potentially lower financial market speculation of a March interest rate cut. Last month’s wage growth is projected to have maintained its solid rate.
The Federal Reserve, having kept the interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, received commendation from Fed Chair Jerome Powell for the economy’s capacity. He hinted at future reductions in interest rates in the upcoming months.
Job Cuts and Focus on Worker Productivity
Large-scale layoffs like the 12,000 job cuts announced by United Parcel Service this week haven’t swayed most economists, who insist productivity should be the central focus.
“If workers are increasing productivity, why not hire?” questions Brian Bethune, an economics professor at Boston College, regarding no significant shift in the economy’s overall momentum despite some layoffs.
Labour Market Forecast and Pandemic Influence
Employers are typically cautious about reducing staff numbers, especially after the challenges experienced in finding labor during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, businesses that thrived in the pandemic are laying off workers as conditions normalize.
Companies are starting to balance their workforce by either reducing temporary hires or spending fewer hours a week, but they have not yet started to lay off workers
Expected Gains and Revised Estimate Factors
Despite some concerns, economists are not worried about high productivity growth. “The Fed shouldn’t be overly concerned about solid wage growth dynamics,” states Oscar Munoz, chief U.S. macro strategist at TD Securities.
January’s unemployment rate is estimated to rise to 3.8% from December’s 3.7%, rising from a low of 3.4% last April. Economists will observe the labor force’s flow as well as household employment after significant declines in December.
The potential impact of these economic changes on forex trading would most likely revolve around asset fluctuations involving US stocks and the currency market. The anticipation of an interest rate cut could influence forex trading strategies, potentially affecting the value of the US dollar.