U.S. consumers generally expect the labor market to stay healthy, with only a third anticipating a rise in the unemployment rate in the coming year, according to a survey released on Friday.
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers for July showed that 66 percent of consumers expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged or even decline, while 33 percent believed the jobless rate would rise in the year head.
Consumers' employment expectations are a consistent gauge of concern about future job and wage prospects, said Richard Curtin, director of the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.
Employment and wage growth rate are the most important factors that will ensure the continued expansion of consumer spending, said Curtin.
Consumer spending has been one of the major drivers of economic growth. There are concerns that the housing market turmoil could cause a slowdown and crimp growth.
According to Curtin, non-farm employment has increased by an average of 136 jobs a month so far this year. The unemployment rate is currently at 4.6 percent.