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Let’s All Guess About the Jobs Data


Thanks to the government shutdown, we’ll have to wait a little bit longer to get the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But that’s not stopping economists and pundits from trying to figure out the employment picture.


(Photo Credit: bark/Flickr)

Whether that picture is rosy or bleak depends largely on which experts you consult and which economic indicators they favor. Here are a few interpretations from around the Web:

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  • A USA Today survey of 39 economists predicted a fairly neutral outlook — 7.3 percent unemployment and 175,000 jobs, which is 6,000 jobs more than the previous month.
  • But wait, maybe that’s actually positive? Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist of Barclays Capital, tells USA Today, “What we’re seeing in some of the indicators is that activity has picked up somewhat.” Barclays was slightly more optimistic than others in the survey, predicting gains of 200,000 jobs last month.
  • Jobless claims were gathered before the shutdown, released last week, and show a neutral to slightly positive job landscape — seasonally adjusted unemployment claims were 308,000 last week, up 1,000 from the week before. Last year at this time, they were 368,000. (Hat tip to the New York Times.)
  • ADP’s National Employment Report shows a gain of 166,000 non-farm, private sector jobs for September.
  • Gallup finds that the unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in September, down from 8.7 percent in August.
  • On the compensation front, The PayScale Index shows a 1.7 percent increase in year-over-year pay for the third quarter of 2013 and predicts a 0.8 percent increase in year-over-year pay for the fourth quarter.

Tell Us What You Think

What do you think the jobs report will show, when it’s released? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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