US Jobs Data Have Potential to Push Fed Toward Third Jumbo Hike (Remember That ADP Jobs Added In August Was Only 132k)

When we look at tomorrow’s US jobs report, it is important to acknowledge that 1) The Federal Reserve has not yet removed the Covid stimulus (green line) and 2) the ADP payroll jobs added was only 132k in August while non-farm payrolls jobs added in July was 528k. That is quite a spread!

(Bloomberg) The hotly anticipated US jobs report has the potential to tip the scales toward a third jumbo-sized hike in interest rates later this month after a wave of data that point to a resilient consumer and high labor demand.

Friday’s report is one of the last marquee releases Fed officials will have in hand before the mid-September policy meeting to help them decipher a complex economic and inflationary puzzle. 

Forecasts call for a healthy, yet more moderate 298,000 gain in August payrolls and for the unemployment rate to hold steady at 3.5%, matching the lowest in five decades. Solid wage growth is also expected amid a persistent mismatch between labor demand and supply.

Such figures, in conjunction with a blowout July employment print, improving consumer sentiment figures and a surprise pickup in job openings, could be enough to push the Fed to raise borrowing costs by 75 basis points, extending the steepest interest-rate hikes in a generation to curb an inflation surge.

As of this morning, Fed Funds futures data is still pointing to The Fed Funds Target rate rising from 2.50% to around 4% by the March FOMC meeting. That is still a large jump of another 150 basis points anticipated.