March US NFP Forecast: Will the improvement last?

Several months of better than expected NFP results seem to be pointing to a steady improvement on the US labor market. Will we see another month of positive gains in March? Predictions of analysts taking part in the forecast report vary widely: from 100K to 300K jobs added.


"I would say that March is going to be in line with the past 6 months," suggests Luciano Jannelli, who expects a NFP number above 200K. "There is a good chance that this monthly average can be maintained through the remainder of the year," he adds. Alexandra Estiot agrees saying that "the next few months could see a catch-up, with more than 200,000 positions added every month."

Brian Kahn notes that "weekly claims have continued to improve" which might signalize "a number closer to or above 200K". Yohay Elam, who also notes this trend, additionally emphasizes the importance of the participation rate as "a rise in the participation rate and a gain of more than 250K will likely boost the dollar."

Alberto Muñoz displays less optimism and expects job creation of around 100-150K, suspecting that the considerable employment gains in February "partly came from unsustainable sources." Valeria Bednarik is also skeptical: "The US still needs to prove the world its recovery, with at least 1 more quarter of monthly increases in jobs' creation", she argues.

US NFP numbers for February will be released on April 5 at 12:30 GMT.
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