The guessing about the August jobs numbers will be amplified as Friday’s announcement approaches. Some analysts believe that the figures will prove that the U.S. rate of GDP growth has moved to near zero. Others argue that a very weak report will harm the election prospects for President Obama. Yet another camp claims a decision about the timing of QE3 is on the line.
The August report is the first time in a long while that job creation may be nil. The most recent month the economy lost jobs was in September 2010 when the deficit was 27,000. Since then, there have been seven months in which the increase was less than 100,000. Three of those were this year. Few if any analysts forecast a net loss of jobs for August. But, based on a range of data from PMI to consumer confidence, it would not be a shock.
Douglas A. McIntyre