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November jobs report could set the tone for the economy in 2020

Data: BLS, ADP; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Most economists polled are on record predicting the U.S. added 150,000 to 180,000 jobs in November, but following Wednesday's ADP private payrolls report, which came in strongly below estimates, some are bracing for a weak number.

The big picture: Cailin Birch, global economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit, expects job creation softened significantly last month and that the economy is slowing — though she sees a "minor risk" of a looming recession.

  • "The prospects for the US economy in 2020 are fairly mediocre; we do not expect business investment to improve until there is greater clarity on the future of US trade policy and the next steps in the US-China trade war, which is unlikely until 2021," she says in an email.
  • "That said, consumer demand shows no sign of flagging, and this should help to shore up overall growth and job creation, preventing a sharper slowdown in 2020."

Yes, but: Some economists expect the jobs report to outpace expectations because of the resolution of the UAW strike at GM plants across the country, putting job gains above 200,000 and giving a boost to lagging manufacturing jobs.

Go deeper: The U.S. services sector is holding on