Big surprise – albeit not for all – in the US Nonfarm Payrolls report for February. The world's largest economy gained 379,000 jobs, around double the early estimates of 182,000. Moreover, it is topped off by upward revisions worth 159,000.
US Nonfarm Payrolls surge by 379K in February
Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) in the US rose by 379,000 in February, the data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed on Friday. This reading followed January's increase of 166,000 (revised from 49,000) and beat the market expectation of 182,000 by a wide margin.
US jobs report post-release checklist – Mar 5th, 2021
|NFP Actual, Consensus and Deviation||Positive||The US economy added a massive 379K jobs in February, finally getting back the labor market on the recovery trail.|
|NFP Revisions||Positive||January figure was also revised upwards from 49K to 166K.|
U3 unemployment rate went down from 6.3 to 6.2%, better than expected. U6 underemployment stayed at 11.1%.
|Labor Force Participation Rate||Neutral||The share of people in the workforce remained stable at 61.4%.|
|Average Hourly Earnings||Neutral||Yearly wages stayed at 5.3% while monthly pay-rise figures increased, as expected, from 0.1% to 0.2%.|
February US JOBS REPORT PREVIEW
100 million doses in 100 days – President Joe Biden's pledge has proved to be a low bar too easy to cross, and that may also be the case for February's Nonfarm Payrolls. If the bar is indeed low, it would be easy to surpass and a trigger for dollar gains.
US Nonfarm Payrolls are forecast to add 180,000 positions in February, far better than the 89,000 average loss in December and January, far worse than the 473,000 gain in October and November.
US jobs report pre-release checklist – Mar 5th, 2021
|Previous Non-Farm Payrolls||Negative||The US economy just added 49K jobs in January, missing expectations for the third consecutive month.|
|Challenger Job Cuts||Positive||US corporate layoffs have finally returned to normal, pre-pandemic levels, with just about 34.5K jobs cut in February.|
|Initial Jobless Claims||Positive||First-time employment claims finally hinted at some positives in the weekend ending on February 19th, falling below 800K for the first time in 2021.|
|Continuing Jobless Claims||Positive||The unemployment-benefit claimants' downtrend is still relentless, falling below 4.5 million for the first time since COVID-19 halted the economic activity.|
|ISM Services PMI||Positive||The labor sub-index in the US main service survey rallied came out at 52.7 (better than 51.7 expected), staying in positive territory for the fourth time in the last five months.|
|ISM Manufacturing PMI||Positive||The employment sub-index in the US main manufacturing survey keeps drawing its V-shaped recovery, rallying to 54.4 in February, highest level since March 2019.|
|University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index||Negative||The UMich consumer sentiment survey has remained stuck around the 80 mark since the pandemic struck, way below pre-covid levels.|
|Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index||Neutral||The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® improved a bit in February from 89.3 to 91.3 but is still way below 100, not far from the post-covid bottom.|
|ADP Employment Report||Negative
||Private sector employment disappointed in February. The highest-correlated event to NFP printed a 117K job gain, way below the 177K expected.|
|JOLTS Job Openings||Neutral||Hiring recovery has been halted in the last JOLTS releases around 6.5M job openings, although the lagging nature of this indicator makes it less decisive for evaluating NFP.|
January US JOBS REPORT REVIEW
"Buy the rumor, sell the fact\' – that has been one of the consistent trading patterns through the decades and perhaps the centuries. January 2021's NFP has proved no different.
American employers resumed hiring in January and the unemployment rate fell to a pandemic low as California ended its lockdown and viral rates fell across the country. Nonfarm payrolls add 49,000 positions in January as forecast.
December US JOBS REPORT REVIEW
Winter has come – and it is taking its economic toll. The US has shed 140,000 in December, the first fall since the spring, and worse than expected. The virus has been raging in the last month of 2020 and government support was still in the works. Revisions added 135,000 to the previous two months, but the most recent figure is more worrying.
November US JOBS REPORT REVIEW
It is all a matter of timing. An increase of 245,000 jobs would be considered robust in the pre-pandemic era, but when the data relates to November 2020, a figure in the upper edge of the old normal represents the end of the recovery.
October US JOBS REPORT REVIEW
Positive for COVID-19 – the new about President Donald Trump's trumps everything, even the critical jobs report. The worrying news about the leader of the world's most powerful country has been grabbing the headlines. Yet as seen earlier in the week, investors' immediate concerns are around the next fiscal relief package. Optimism about a Republican-Democrat deal boosted stocks and pessimism sent it down.
September US JOBS REPORT REVIEW
The headlines are impressive – a fall of the US unemployment rate to 8.4% and an increase of 1.371 million jobs, within expectations. The upbeat headlines have pushed stocks higher, allowing them to recover after Thursday's sell-off.
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