- Headline NFP was weaker than expected at 431K but a larger revision to February's number more than made up for this.
- Measures of labour market slack were stronger than expected and wage growth metrics were hot.
- The US dollar saw some initial knee-jerk strength but the DXY has since stabilised around pre-data levels.
Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) rose by 431,000 in March, below the median economist forecast for a 490,000 rise, data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed on Friday. However, the February Non-Farm Payrolls number received a hefty 72,000 upwards revision to 750,000 from 678,000, more than making up for the 59,000 miss on the March headline expected number.
Private Nonfarm Payrolls rose by 426,000 in March, a little below expectations for a 480,000 rise, but as with the headline, the February Private Nonfarm Payrolls number also got a hefty upgrade to 739,000 from 654,000. This made up for the miss on the March Private Nonfarm Payrolls expected number. Government payrolls rose 5,000, a slowdown from the 11,000 rise in February, which had been revised lower from 24,000. Manufacturing Payrolls rose 38,000 in March, above the 30,000 expected gain and in line with February's gain also of 38,000, which had been revised slightly higher from 36,000.
Turning to measures of labour market slack; they were robust across the board. The unemployment rate slumped to 3.6% in March from 3.8% in February, larger than the expected drop to 3.7%. That larger than expected drop came despite a 0.1% gain in the Participation Rate to 62.4% in March from 62.3% in February. The U6 Underemployment Rate fell to 6.9% from 7.2%. Finally, Average Hourly Earnings growth came in a little hotter than expected, rising 5.6% YoY in March versus expectations for a rise to 5.5% from 5.2% in February. MoM, Average Hourly Earnings were up 0.4%, in line with expectations and higher versus February's 0.1% gain, which had been revised lower from 0.6%.
The broadly robust jobs report saw the US dollar initially enjoy some knee-jerk upside, though prices have since pulled back to stabilise around pre-data levels in the 98.50 area.
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