NFP Preview: Forecasts from eight major banks, employment growth still strong


The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release the August jobs report on Friday, September 2 at 12:30 GMT and as we get closer to the release time, here are the forecasts by the economists and researchers of eight major banks regarding the upcoming employment data.

Expectations are for a 300K rise in Nonfarm Payrolls following the 528K increase in July. Meanwhile, the Unemployment Rate is expected to remain steady at 3.5%.

Commerzbank

“We expect job growth in August to be lower than in July, but still in the range of previous months at a still high 375K and the unemployment rate to remain at just 3.5%. The labor market would thus remain tight, signaling to the Fed that further significant rate hikes are necessary to curb inflation.”

Westpac

“Come August, we again expect a materially softer outcome for nonfarm payrolls (250K), while recognising that risks remain to the upside. For the next few months, the unemployment rate can hold around 3.5%; but from the end of the year, it is likely to begin to trend higher as employment growth slows and participation rises as households seek relief from the loss of real spending capacity.”

ING

“A 250K would still be very respectable and will certainly keep the Fed in hiking mode. With the unemployment rate set to remain at 3.5% and wages continuing to push higher we favour a 50 bps hike on 21 September rather than 75 bps. However, should the economy add substantially more jobs, say 350K+, and the wage number posts a second consecutive 0.5% month-on-month increase, or higher, then it could swing the argument in favour of 75 bps.”

TDS

“We expect the series to have continued to advance strongly in August (370K), but at a more moderate pace following the eye-popping 528K increase registered in July, which was a five-month high. We look for the solid gain in employment to also be reflected in another decline in the unemployment rate to 3.4% (second consecutive one-tenth decline). We are assuming an improvement in the participation rate to 62.2% after falling to 62.1% in July. We are also looking for wage growth to slow modestly to a still robust 0.4% MoM after registering an unexpected 0.5% jump last month. The MoM leap should result in a one-tenth increase in the YoY measure to 5.3% in August.”

SocGen

“We project a 300K increase for August non-farm jobs. A gain near our forecast of 300K implies either a return of workers back into the workforce or further declines in the unemployment rate. We look for the unemployment rate to hold steady at 3.5%. The return of workers should lift the labor force participation rate from the 62.1 level posted for July.”

NBF

“Payroll growth may have come down to just 75K. The household survey is expected to show a stronger gain, a development which could leave the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.5%, assuming the participation rate increased one tick to 62.2%.”

CIBC

“After a stellar performance in July, the US labor market is poised for a slowdown in August, in line with the cooling in interest-sensitive sectors. The likely creation of 250K jobs would still be a healthy print, however, and that could leave the unemployment rate at a tight 3.5%, assuming some increase in labor force participation. We expect hiring to slow ahead as higher interest rates weigh on activity, something that is a precursor for the Fed to slow the pace of rate hikes. Market impact. We’re below the consensus which could be negative for the USD and see bond yields fall.”

Citibank

“Following a significant upside surprise to nonfarm payrolls in July, we expect a more moderate increase of 305K in August, with mostly balanced risks. Overall, the trend of job growth is likely to slow into the end of the year and 2023 as demand for labor moderates. We expects a 0.4% MoM increase in average hourly earnings in August, a modestly softer increase than in July and the base case is for the unemployment rate to fall further to 3.4% in August after a decline in July to 3.5%.”