Here’s what you need to know:
The Labor Department is expected to report on Friday that U.S. employers continued to bring back workers in September, but that the loss of momentum that began over the summer has continued into the fall.
Forecasters surveyed by Bloomberg estimate that the report, due at 8:30 a.m., will show that the economy added 875,000 jobs in September, down from 1.4 million in August and close to five million in June. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 8.2 percent from 8.4 percent in August and a record high of nearly 15 percent in April.
But forecasters have struggled throughout the pandemic, and the range of estimates is unusually broad this time: The most optimistic economist in Bloomberg’s survey expects a gain of 1.8 million jobs. The most pessimistic expects a loss of 100,000.
Whatever the number, the report could have significant economic and political implications.
This will be the last monthly jobs report — and one of the last major economic data releases — before the presidential election. It will probably provide fodder for both major candidates: President Trump and his supporters can accurately say that the economy has rebounded — and unemployment has fallen — much faster than many forecasters expected last spring. Democrats can say, just as accurately, that the recovery is slowing at a time when millions remain out of work.
Economists say the slowdown is at least partly a result of the expiration of federal aid programs for households and businesses, and they warn that it could worsen if Congress doesn’t provide more help. Aneta Markowska, chief financial economist for the investment