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US Non-Farm Payrolls and ISM Data Overview

The markets were abuzz this week with the release of the US non-farm payrolls report and the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) data. Overall, the results were mixed, with a miss on one of the reports overshadowing the other. Let’s take a look at what happened over the course of this past week.

On Thursday morning, the Labor Department released their jobs report for October. The report showed that 128,000 new jobs were added in October, which was slightly lower than economists had expected but still enough to keep unemployment at a 50-year low of 3.6%. Hourly wages also rose by 0.2%, which was in line with expectations. The results from this report suggest that economic growth is slowing but is still strong overall.

On Tuesday morning, the ISM released their latest manufacturing survey for October. The results were not as positive as expected, with activity in the sector contracting for the fourth straight month and hitting its lowest level since June 2009. This result was driven by slower domestic demand due to trade tensions, an inventory correction, and weak global demand. Analysts are now concerned that these weaker numbers may signal an impending recession in 2020 if they don’t improve soon.

Overall, this week’s economic data showed mixed signals about the US economy going forward. While non-farm payrolls showed continued strength in job creation and wage growth, ISM manufacturing numbers fell to their lowest level since 2009 and suggest that a possible recession could be looming on the horizon if things don’t turn around soon. Investors will be closely watching both sets of data over the next few months to see how things progress going forward.

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