August is notorious for disappointing the market when it comes to job creation, and this one may be no exception.
A handful of prominent Wall Street economists expect job creation to fall short of the 180,000 consensus estimate, as it so often does. In fact, the month has missed estimates 9 of the past 12 years.
In addition to being a letdown, the August number is notoriously volatile. On average since 2011 — the year the initial reading showed zero jobs created — the number has been pushed up by 71,000 after the Labor Department finishes its revisions.
Goldman Sachs is one of the firms bearish on Friday's nonfarm payrolls report, and it has a reason why it believes the number is so unreliable.
"Our below-consensus forecast primarily reflects seasonal quirks specific to the August payroll period," Goldman economist Elad Pashtan said in a note to clients. "In our view, the initial August weakness and subsequent revisions reflects seasonal adjustment challenges related to shifts in the timing of school calendars."
In other words, figuring out the job situation depends on when school opens and education personnel head back to the classroom.