The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the July jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Economists forecast that employers added 193,000 nonfarm payrolls on net last month, according to a Bloomberg survey.
One signal that July was a strong month can be found in the low number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time. Initial jobless claims were near a 50-year low in the week the BLS conducted its survey for the jobs report, and haven’t added up to more than 300,000 since March 2015. Jobless claims are an early sign of mass layoffs in the labor market, since many people apply for benefits soon after they’re let go.
Economists forecast that the unemployment rate dipped from 4% to 3.9%, remaining near an 18-year low. The rate includes everyone looking for jobs, including those who are unsuccessful. Even though the rate has fallen so low, the pace of nonfarm-payrolls growth hasn’t slowed.
It’s an indication that many people previously on the sidelines are being attracted into the workforce. In June, there was a surge in the number of people re-entering the labor force, while the number of those who gave up on their job searches fell.
This trend is unlikely to persist, said Ellen Zentner, Morgan Stanley’s chief US economist. “Broadly speaking, large 0.3pp jumps in the unemployment rate like we saw in June are rare in expansions, and tend not be followed by further increases,” Zentner said in a preview.
“Consequently, we expect the unemployment rate will remain steady in July, but should return to a downtrend in the coming months.”
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