The Labor Department’s December employment report is the highlight of this week’s economic data. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal believe the unemployment rate has fallen as employers have created jobs at a faster rate.
IHS Markit will provide a snapshot of the health of the European manufacturing sector with the December Purchasing Managers Index. The index is expected to decline slightly to 58.0 from 58.4 in November, amid continued supply chain tightening and rising Covid-19 infection rates in Europe.
The ISM manufacturing index, published by the Institute for Supply Management, is expected to decline slightly in December, but remain firmly in expansion territory. The monthly report, which measures activity at U.S. factories, showed the manufacturing sector has been driven by high demand, but constrained by current supply chain challenges.
The Labor Ministry is due to release the survey of job openings and workforce turnover for November. In October, there were 3.6 million more job vacancies than people looking for work, illustrating the gap between employer demand and labor supply.
The US trade deficit, reported by the Commerce Department, is expected to widen in November to $ 72.6 billion, up about $ 5.5 billion from the previous month. Constraints in the global supply chain and high consumer demand for capital goods are some of the factors fueling the deficit.
Economists believe U.S. employers created jobs at a faster pace in December as the labor market continued to recover. The data reflects surveys from mid-December before the Omicron variant caused a surge in Covid-19 cases. Analysts expect the Labor Department report to show a gain of 405,000 jobs for December, with the unemployment rate falling to 4.1% from 4.2% in November. The labor force participation rate will be closely monitored to determine if workers are leaving the sideline and re-entering the workforce.
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Appeared in the print edition of January 3, 2022 under the name “Economic Calendar”.