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Why Fed policymakers won't worry about the negative September jobs report


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Why Fed policymakers won't worry about the negative September jobs report

While the latest U.S. nonfarm payroll employment showed that the economy lost 33,000 in September, the lower unemployment rate overall and increases in average hourly earnings are likely to keep the Fed on track to raise interest rates in December, analysts said.

"I think the two underlying measures that the Fed and the FOMC care about the most are the unemployment rate and average hourly earnings, hurricane effects aside," said Michael Brown, economist at Wells Fargo Economics Group. "Both of those seem to be trending in the direction to support a December rate hike, not necessarily taking it off the table."

Analysis from TD Bank said the job's report's "disappointing headline should be discounted," given the healthy results from the household survey.

"Today's report makes it extremely difficult for the Fed to assess the state of the labor market, but the increase in wages and drop in the unemployment rate both point to an improving labor market that should support a December rate hike, as do positive revisions to the August data," TD bank analysts wrote in a report published following the data's release. "For the Fed, this is an extremely difficult report to read, and most policymakers are likely to be data dependent and wait for the October and November reports before making a decision whether to hike at the December FOMC meeting. That said, the upward revisions to August NFP and wages, and the sizable jump in participation despite the hurricanes, will be difficult to completely ignore. On net, the underlying strength of the labor market arguably appears somewhat better than before the report – the sizable headline disappointment in payrolls notwithstanding."