Non Farm Payroll preview


Today (13:30 GMT) sees the delayed release of the critically important US Non Farm Payroll data. This is normally scheduled for the first Friday of the new month, but can sometimes be pushed back where that coincides with either a public holiday or the first of the month falls on a Friday. In February the first Friday coincided with the first day of the month but the Government went ahead and published anyway, choosing to delay the March publication rather than delay the data for two successive months. Opinions vary on the headline number between +150k - +200k, with heavy snowfall in some parts of the US potentially affecting the numbers at the time of the survey. We doubt that inconvenient weather would affect as many as 50,000 jobseekers but stranger things have happened.  Last month’s data is subject to revision and as it was cobbled together under time pressures in February we feel it prudent to stress the importance of looking at any revision and placing that in context. The core unemployment rate is expected to remain just under 4%, with a slight decrease in Initial Jobless Claims.  Another key factor that will come under scrutiny will be Average Hourly Earnings for signs of wage inflation.

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