As for Friday's jobs data, managers on the ground said they weren't surprised by the big data beat and warn that a pullback could come in November's headline number, set to be released next month.
Mike Starich, president of Orion International, which is the largest military recruiting firm in the United States, said August and the first half of September were strong interview months, which were followed by hires in October -- in other words, there's a lag between the interview and the start date of employees. Starich said he saw activity sharply contract heading into October.
"All the folks that we had in the interview pipelines, everything started to change [as October approached]," said Starich. "Everything just sort of iced over, and now it's releasing ever since the [debt ceiling] was resolved - the ice is breaking."
Employment gains in leisure and hospitality (53,000) and retail (44,000), outpaced professional and technical services (21,000) and manufacturing (19,000).
"This is a 2% economy," said Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research, referring to the slow, steady rising trend in gross domestic product. "We're seeing numbers that give us growth in employment, but not growth in high quality employment in terms of higher wage jobs."
This continues to be the case with employment reports month-to-month: We see growth in payrolls, a dip in participation and little change to the unemployment rate. It's a new normal for Americans, most of whom have never experienced half a decade straight of 7%-plus unemployment.
But the labor and economic recovery won't be fully realized until next year, said Shang-Kin Wei, director of the Chazen Institute of Business at the Columbia University Business School. Weo said businesses are reasonably optimistic about the next 10 years, and that the slow growth of sub 3% GDP may be behind us in three years. In fact, Thursday's upward GDP revision to 2.8% may have hinted at a turn, though economists were worried by the weak consumer spending rate in the report.
Fundamentally, the jobs reports are positive and show that
the United States is moving in the correct direction
since the financial crisis.
Whatever the case may be, analysts seemed content with Friday's jobs report. But those celebrations came with a disclaimer that the government shutdown effects will enter the data by the next report.
The positive print suggested the
could begin to taper sooner than expected, but the central bank will have the advantage of getting one more set of monthly labor data to determine if this was a one-hit wonder, or the beginning of a robust trend.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.