The Labor Department’s December jobs report is the highlight of this week’s economic data. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate the unemployment rate fell as employers added jobs at a faster pace.
will provide a look at the health of the European manufacturing sector with December’s purchasing managers index. The index is expected to slip slightly to 58.0 from 58.4 in November, amid a continuing supply-chain crunch and rising Covid-19 infection rates in Europe.
The ISM Manufacturing Index, released by the Institute for Supply Management, is expected to fall slightly in December, but remain firmly in expansion territory. The monthly report, which measures activity in U.S. factories, has shown that the manufacturing sector has been driven by strong demand, but constrained by ongoing supply-chain challenges.
The Labor Department is to release the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for November. In October, there were 3.6 million more job openings than people looking for work, illustrating the gap between employer demand and labor supply.
The U.S. trade deficit, reported by the Commerce Department, is estimated to widen in November to $72.6 billion, up about $5.5 billion from the month before. Global supply-chain constraints and elevated consumer demand for capital goods are some of the factors feeding the deficit.
Economists estimate that U.S. employers added jobs at a faster pace in December as the labor-market recovery continued. The data reflects mid-December surveys before the Omicron variant caused Covid-19 cases to rise sharply. Analysts expect the Labor Department report to show a gain of 405,000 jobs for December, with the unemployment rate ticking down to 4.1% from 4.2% in November. The labor-force participation rate will be closely eyed as a gauge of whether workers are coming off the sidelines and rejoining the labor force.
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