WASHINGTON Oct 7 U.S. employment growth likely
picked up in September, putting pressure on the Federal Reserve
to raise interest rates and signaling that steam could be
building in the economy ahead of America's presidential
Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have risen by 175,000 last
month from 151,000 in August, according to a Reuters survey of
That would be around the average monthly job growth so far
this year, which Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last month was
"unsustainable" and could over time cause the economy to
overheat. Yellen has said the economy needs to create just under
100,000 jobs a month to keep up with population growth.
The Labor Department will release its employment report on
Friday at 8:30 a.m (1230 GMT) and the data is expected to show
the jobless rate holding steady at 4.9 percent.
"A strong jobs report is going to bolster the case for a
rate increase," Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, referring
to the consensus forecast for job growth, told reporters this
week in Huntington, West Virginia.
It will be the last employment report before the Fed's Nov.
1-2 policy meeting. Investors see almost no chance of a rate
increase at that meeting given how close it is to the Nov. 8
Yellen said last month the Fed will likely raise rates once
this year but prices on fed funds futures suggest just above
even odds the hike will come at the Fed's last policy meeting
for the year in December. Some Fed policymakers have vocally
defended a go-slow approach to rate increases but three
policymakers voted for a hike last month when the Fed kept rates
Republican candidate Donald Trump has accused the Fed of
playing politics by holding rates low, a charge Yellen and other
Fed policymakers have denied. Trump has also made reversing job
losses at U.S. factories a central campaign promise.
In September, manufacturing employment was expected to fall,
which would be the fourth straight month it was down or flat.
The sector has shed 39,000 jobs this year.
A firming overall labor market and rising wages, however,
could be an asset for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary
Clinton who has argued that President Barack Obama, also a
Democrat, has helped the economy.
Economists expect hourly wages for private sector workers
rose 2.6 percent in September from the same month in 2015. The
annual growth rate has shown signs of accelerating over the last
year although it remains slower than before the 2007-09
The Fed lifted its benchmark overnight interest rate at the
end of last year for the first time in nearly a decade, but has
held it steady since amid concerns over persistently low
The expected pace of job growth in September would come
after a slowdown in August that many economists believe
reflected challenges adjusting the data for changes in the
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)