Will the US unemployment rate exceed 4% in the next BLS jobs report (Dec 8, 2023)?
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resolved Dec 8
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NO

The Employment Situation for November will release on Friday, December 8, 2023. Will the listed unemployment rate be greater than 4.0%?

Resolves YES if unemployment is >4.0%.

Resolves NO if unemployment is <=4.0%.

Resolves to N/A if the report isn't released on December 8.

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The demand for labour may rise if the U.S. economy keeps expanding or keeps up its current rate, which might lower or even stabilise the unemployment rate. On the other hand, in the event of an economic downturn, the rate of unemployment may increase above 4%. 3.9% is the unemployment rate according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) for October 2023. There is less chance that this number will rise above 4% before 2023 as it has not changed much from the previous months.

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

The unemployment rate in the USA is likely to improve over time and may not reach the 4% level by December 2023.  Checking the unemployment rate data for the USA from 1991 to 2002 and correlating it with the GDP growth rate figures for the same period shows a moderate negative correlation of 45%. So even though the GDP growth rate is slightly on the downside and is forecasted to be 1.4% by the end of 2023 (Neufeld, 2023), the unemployment rate will not necessarily be affected. There is employment recovery in the USA even though it is incomplete and below pre-pandemic levels (World Economic Forum,2022). This can be seen in the decline of the unemployment rates from 8.05% in 2020 to 5.35% in 2021 and 3.61% in 2022.   

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