The last time U.S. payroll forecasts were this low, hurricanes had slammed the country in 2017, temporarily closing businesses. Or go back to 2013 when there was a federal government shutdown.
But for the September jobs report due Friday, Wall Street economists see a more persistent storm at play: the trade war and manufacturing recession. Those factors are starting to permeate the economy at a time when companies are already struggling with a shrinking pool of qualified workers.
The combination of forces has pushed down the median estimate for private payrolls to a gain of just 130,000 last month. That’s the weakest projection heading into a jobs report in seven years, outside of months affected by events such as major storms or the shutdown. Estimates for total