Market Insider

Jobs data should be strong, will jar market if not

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Economists expect a steady pace of job growth of about 200,000 in September, but if there's a miss that would spark market fears that the economy is slowing down and the Fed was right to hold off on a September rate hike.

The September employment report is the last jobs number the Fed will see before it meets Oct. 28, so traders are giving it extra weight. The Fed is not expected to raise rates in October, and the market sees a less-than-50 percent chance it will hike in October. But Fed officials have made clear they want to raise rates this year, and many economists still expect to see a December rate hike.

The Fed has said it will base its decision on the economic data though it did caution that it held off in September because of international developments, meaning a slowing China and its possible impact on the economy. According to Thomson Reuters, the consensus is for job growth of 203,000, compared to 173,000 last month, and an unemployment rate unchanged at 5.1 percent.