US NFPs Cool in March at +103K vs +185K Exp; USD/CAD Plummets 0.5%

Talking Points:

US Nonfarm Payrolls rose by +103K in March, a huge miss compared to the +185K projection; the previous figure was revised higher to +326K from +313K.

– The US unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%, markets expected a decline of 0.1%.

US hourly earnings were in line with expectations at +2.7% from 2.6% previously.

Check out quarterly forecasts for the US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, and others at the DailyFX Trading Guides.

This morning the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported total nonfarm payroll (NFP) employment expanded by a lackluster +103K jobs in March, much below the projected +185K figure. February’s already-strong NFP figure was revised up from +313K to +326K; although the net two-month revision was -50K.

However, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%, despite markets hoping for a 0.1% downtick to new cycle lows. March marks the sixth consecutive month that the unemployment rate remained unchanged. Overall, today’s jobs report is further confirmation that the labor market is showing signs that it is tightening.

US Unemployment: Largely Unchanged

In March, employment grew in manufacturing, health care, and mining. Although, employment in manufacturing rose by 22,000, with all of the gain accounted for in durable goods. This was in line with estimates and lower than the +31K jobs added in February. Over the year, manufacturing has added a total of +232K jobs. The durable goods component has accounted for about 75% of that gain.

Here are some of the other notable changes in employment:

  • Health care: +22K (in line with its monthly average gain over 12-months)
  • Mining: +9K
  • Retail trade: -4K (following February gain of +47K jobs)
  • Construction: -15K (following February gain of +65k jobs)

Average Earnings: Wage Growth Edges Higher

Last month average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by a meager $0.08 to $26.82, after a 4-cent uptick in February. Over the year,average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents (+2.7%). Again, the trend continues of sluggish wage growth.

Below is a list of economic releases that has driven the US Dollar higher:

USD Change in Non-farm Payrolls (MAR): +103K versus +185K expected, from +326K (revised higher from +313K)

USD Unemployment Rate (MAR): 4.1% versus 4.0% expected, from 4.1%

USD Change in Private Payrolls (MAR): +102K versus +188K expected, from 320K (revised higher from 287K)

USD Average Hourly Earnings (MAR): +2.7% as expected, from +2.6% (y/y)

For a full list of today’s event risks see the DailyFX Economic Calendarand DailyFX Webinar Calendar for event risk coverage like NFPs

Price Chart 1: DXY Index 15-minute Chart (Intraday April 5 to 6, 2018)

The US Dollar fell by nearly -0.5% against the Loonie following the jobs data prints out of the US and Canada. At the time that this was written, USDCAD traded around 1.2741.

— Written by Dylan Jusino, DailyFX Research

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