NFP – Inline, Unemployment Down, Wages weak again

EURUSD, Daily               

U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose 178K in November, after a downwardly revised 142k increase in October (was 161k) and an upward bump to a 208k gain in September (was 191k), for a net -2k. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.6% from 4.9% and is the lowest since August 2007. Household employment was up 160k after falling 43k previously, while the labor force declined 226k after shedding 195k in October. The labor force participation rate dipped to 62.7% from 62.8%. Earnings dipped 0.1% last month following a 0.4% surge previously. Average hours were steady at 34.4. As for job details, private payrolls increased 156k (versus ADP’s 216k print), with goods producing jobs up 17, with construction up 19k, while manufacturing slid 4k. Private service sector employment increased 139k jobs, helped by a 63k gain in business services and a 44k increase in education and health, while IT and retail trade posted small declines. Government jobs rose 22k. The mix of data leans to the soft side of expectations.  The new jobs are clearly not adding to the much needed growth in wages and spending power, a trend that has been ever present since the end of the recession.

The dollar initially fell following the jobs report, which revealed a 178k NFP print (median forecast 177k), and a downwardly revised October NFP count of 142k from the initial 16k. EUR-USD rallied to 1.0672 from 1.0645, before easing back under 1.0660, as USD-JPY slipped to 113.48 from 114.00. Equity futures were little changed, and indicate a mixed Wall Street open, while yields edged lower.


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Stuart Cowell

Market Analyst


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