We expect a net gain of 850,000 in total employment when the jobs report for September is released on Friday. That figure, though, represents a slowing of recent gains off the lows of the pandemic.
While we do not expect a complete collapse in the pace of recalled workers (that may be an October and November story) there will be a more than noticeable decline in “hiring” following the 1.3 million pace of August.
One number to watch: Those facing involuntary part-time work
The unemployment rate should decline to 8.2% following the 8.4% posted in August. Both average weekly hours worked and the labor force participation rate will inch forward to close out the third quarter of 2020.
Almost all real-time economic data (Open Table being the notable exception) implies at best a sequential slowing in the nascent recovery, while the Homebase employment series points to a small decline in non-seasonally adjusted private payrolls in September and an outright decline in the early October reporting period. For this reason, we see some downside risk in our forecast.
Beneath the headline, we will be focused on the number of permanent job losses and those facing involuntary part-time work for economic reasons as barometers of what the policy sector (Congress and the Federal Reserve) will do if anything to mitigate the significant damage to the labor market. Following that disaster of a debate on Tuesday, we are not holding our breath on another round of fiscal aid before the November election.
For more information on how the coronavirus is affecting midsize businesses, please visit the RSM Coronavirus Resource Center.