They are the Federal Reserve – actually the FOMC which will determine if they raise the benchmark Fed Funds rate at their September meeting. Once the financial markets awaken from the ‘dog days of August’, all eyes will be on the Fed. One of the keys will be labor market indicators. Here are a few statistics that the Fed, and market observers, will be watching:
- More job openings than hires for the first time in 15 years
- Initial jobless claims at the lowest levels since 2000
- For the first time since before the ’08 – ’09 financial crisis, the NFIB (Small Business) survey shows their most important problems is “quality of labor” vs. “poor sales”
The Fed is watching China and other indicators, but the tone of underlying job growth/conditions is certainly stronger than a Fed Funds rate at zero might indicate.
Labor Market statistics from Deutsche Bank Research