US Bank Wealth Management CIO Eric Freedman argued on Tuesday that the jobs report, which will be released on Friday, will be a “big market mover.”
Freedman explained on “Mornings with Maria” that, as “we get into the deeper part of the summer,” inflation and dwindling savings will continue to weigh on consumers and could prompt more Americans to consider returning to the workforce.
Last month, the Labor Department revealed that employers added 390,000 non-farm jobs in May, beating the 328,000 jobs forecast by Refinitiv economists.
The department noted that gains were broad-based, with the biggest increases in the pandemic-battered leisure and hospitality industry (84,000), professional and business services (75,000) and transportation and warehousing (47,000). Almost every industry gained positions, according to the report released last month. Retail was the exception, shedding nearly 61,000 jobs.
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The Labor Department’s jobs report for June will be released on Friday. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv are expecting the Labor Department to say that the US economy added 270,000 new nonfarm jobs in June.
Freedman stressed that “you are still seeing vulnerabilities with consumers” as inflation sits at 40-year highs, “even though it’s starting to ease a little bit at the margin,” and as people are “moving away from having stockpiles of savings.”
According to the most recent data, inflation remained painfully high in May, exacerbating a financial strain for millions of Americans.
The Labor Department said last month that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price for everyday goods, including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 8.6% in May from a year ago. Prices jumped 1% in the one-month period from April. Those figures were both higher than the 8.3% headline figure and 0.7% monthly gain forecast by Refinitiv economists.
The data marked the fastest pace of inflation since December 1981.
“What we are hopefully going to see in the next couple months is more people returning back to the workforce, because we do have concerns about just how much stockpiling and savings actually exists amongst the marginal consumer,” Freedman said.
He noted that “we are not expecting a massive rebound in jobs,” but that the rebound could be noticeable in the “consumer sensitive sectors.”
“We are still a glass more half empty than full right now, but we do think this jobs number will be very important and a big focus for investors,” Freedman continued.
Among the biggest problems for businesses is a lack of available workers. Companies are eager to hire new employees and are raising wages in order to attract workers as they confront a labor shortage. There were roughly 11.4 million open jobs at the end of April — near a record high. The number of Americans quitting their jobs is also near the highest level on record, according to a different government report released last month.
In total, there was a gap of roughly 5.46 million between job openings and the number of available workers, suggesting the labor market was still extremely tight.
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As a result, millions of workers are seeing the largest pay gains in years, as companies compete with one another for a limited number of employees. Many of those gains have been eroded, however, by the hottest inflation in four decades that has pushed the price of everyday necessities like gasoline, clothing and food significantly higher.
FOX Business’ Lucas Manfredi and Megan Henney contributed to this report.