All Eyes On US Nonfarm Payrolls…

The September payrolls report is going to be released by the Labor Department on Friday at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. It is bound to be more thoroughly scoured than most.

Employers probably added about 200,000 workers in September, according to the median forecast in a survey of economists, after a gain of 173,000 in August. The average monthly advance so far this year is 212,000, a slowdown from last year’s tally of 260,000 that was the best since 1999.

Factory payrolls may show little change after a 17,000 drop in August that was the worst since July 2013, according to the survey median. The hit to manufacturing reflects weak exports and the lingering woes of energy-related industries.

The unemployment rate will probably hold at 5.1 percent, the survey shows, matching August as the the lowest reading since April 2008. It’s inching closer to the 4.9 percent that Fed officials now consider consistent with maximum employment.

Friday’s report will also help shed more light on the extent to which the pool of labor is being underutilized. In her speech Yellen cited measures of slack such as part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs and the participation rate, which shows a shrinking share of working-age people in the labor force. The latter probably held at a more than three-decade low of 62.6 percent in September.

Feel free to share your estimate in comments.

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