Lukewarm Jobs Data Seen Ending Economic Optimism

Wednesday, 02 Nov 2011 12:22 AM

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The U.S. economy has been growing at a decent clip, 2.5 percent in the third quarter, fueled in part by improved consumer spending.
The dark days of fear and uncertainty are behind us, right?

Wrong, experts say.

The Depart of Labor is set to release its October unemployment figures on Friday, and market watchers say the good news could come to a screeching halt.

Unemployment rates are currently hovering at 9.1 percent and refusing to budge, well above pre-recession levels.
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"There's not a deterioration in labor-market conditions, but there’s not much improvement, either," says Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas, according to MarketWatch.

High unemployment rates have been depressing consumer confidence rates and even wages for those who have jobs.

jobseekergetty200v3.jpg
(Getty Images photo)
It's definitely a hirer's market out there.

“Unless you see an increase in employment, you are not going to see big increases on the wage front,” Gregory Daco, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, tells MarketWatch.

"Wages remain weak and total compensation, including benefits, is not showing healthy signs."

Furthermore, economic indicators shouldn't create cause for celebration just because they're coming in lukewarm and not awful, and investors may be in for some disappointments down the road if they fail to temper their optimism a bit, market watchers say.

"There's a big difference between avoiding recession and stronger growth," says Eric Green, chief U.S. economist at TD Securities, according to the Associated Press.

"The economic data will be okay, but it's not going to be a catalyst to move stocks up" significantly.

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