The Balance Today: News You Need To Know on Oct. 3, 2022

This Week Could Show How the Fed Is Impacting the Job Market

Workers on car assembly line

Andy Sacks / Getty Images

This week will be an important one for jobs data, which could have implications for inflation and the overall health of the economy. On Friday the Labor Department will release its September jobs report, which economists expect to show unemployment remaining unchanged at 3.7%. Tomorrow, we’ll also get the latest job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS), which will show how many workers are quitting their jobs, and how many employers are still looking for workers.

With the risk of a recession rising, everyone will be paying close attention to the labor market for any cracks. While a strong job market has been good for workers seeking wage increases and job security this year, the Federal Reserve sees it as contributing to inflation. But if the Fed moves too aggressively, we could be in for a recession.

If unemployment starts to tick higher, or the number of job openings sharply declines, it will mean that the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes (which should slow down the economy) are having an impact. While unemployment is not the only factor used to determine whether we are in a recession, it is an important piece of the puzzle, so increasing unemployment numbers would be a sign that we are headed to a recession (if we aren’t in one already).

After September lived up to its reputation for being a poor month for investors, closing out the month and third quarter of this year with losses, stocks are rising to kick off October ahead of the big jobs numbers.

And just a reminder for all of you with student loans: the application for student loan forgiveness should be available any day now, so it might be a good idea to prepare to fill out yours as soon as you can. Don’t know how? Check out our guide here.


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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. MarketWatch. "This Week's Major U.S. Economic Reports & Fed Speakers."

  2. National Bureau of Economic Research. "Business Cycle Dating."

  3. Federal Student Aid. "The Biden-Harris Administration's Student Debt Relief Plan Explained."

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