Read more of RSM’s insights on manufacturing and the middle market. Companies also laid off fewer workers on the month, 1.5 million compared with 1.7 million in August. If you square that with the quit rate, we might be seeing a labor market that is coming into a more of a balanced state. Looking ahead, the Fed will most likely face a host of weaker economic data, starting with October’s ISM manufacturing index that showed a bigger-than-expected drop in overall sentiment. The overall index, which was released on Wednesday, fell to 46.7% from 49%, indicating a contraction for the 10th time in 11 months. Employment and new orders both contracted in October for the sector according to the survey, pointing to an imminent slowdown. The drop in manufacturing employment was affected either directly or indirectly by the United Auto Workers strike, confirming our prediction that the impact of the strike will shave off thousands of jobs in October, bringing the net payroll change down to 160,000. The October data will be released on Friday.