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Prepare for the Great Moderation in U.S. Job Growth

Bloomberg (10/15/15) Luke Kawa

A number of Wall Street economists and individuals inside the U.S. Federal Reserve are concluding that recent job numbers indicate the economy is losing slack—not steam. Employment growth numbers have come in below expectations. Over the next few years, the growth of the working-age population in the U.S.—individuals between the ages of 15 and 64—likely will decline to 0.4% and is trending to go even lower, according to Jacob Oubina, an RBC Capital Markets senior economist.

“The pace of monthly job growth that is consistent with a stable unemployment rate right now is probably around 75,000,” says Michael Feroli, JPMorgan chief economist. Conor Sen, portfolio manager at New River Investments, adds that “There are three factors driving headline nonfarm payrolls here. The magnitude of economic growth, pace of retirements, and how much a stronger job market and faster wage growth can get new entrants into the job market.”