January jobs report expected to show that hiring slowed last month

 The Federal Reserve is closely watching the report for evidence that the labor market is finally softening after months of surprisingly solid job gains as policymakers try to ensure that inflation remains subdued. Continued. The consumer price index has cooled significantly in recent months but remains above the Fed's preferred 2% target, despite 11 interest rate hikes over a 16-month period.

Has the Federal Reserve raised interest rates?

Slower job growth and a further slowdown in wage growth could be a welcome sign for the US central bank, which kept interest rates steady for the fourth consecutive month after its meeting on Wednesday. Policymakers signaled they are finished with their tightening campaign and are ready to cut interest rates - though not immediately.

Average hourly earnings, a key measure of inflation, are expected to rise 0.3% for the month and climb 3.8% from the same time a year earlier.

"We doubt the January report will change the outlook of Federal Reserve officials in favor of monetary policy easing in the coming months, but strong job growth and wage growth above 4% are some hope," said Lydia Bausor, senior economist at EY. Will favor aggressive communication."

However, Boussore cautioned that there may be some "noise" in the data due to the Labor Department's annual benchmark revisions, in which it updates seasonal adjustment factors and adjusts updated population estimates for the household survey.

The labor market has remained historically tight over the past year, defying economists' recession expectations. Economists say its pace is beginning to slow after last year's rapid run, but they say it is not close to breaking even.

A separate report released Thursday by Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that the pace of job cuts by U.S. employers accelerated as early as 2024.

The firm's findings show that companies planned to cut 82,307 jobs in January, a substantial increase of 136% from the previous month. However, this is down about 20% from the same period a year ago. According to 2009 data, this is the second largest layoff in the month of January.

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