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October Nonfarm Payrolls Snapshot: In Numbers


  • Consensus estimate +200K
  • Private +200K
  • September +263K
  • Consensus estimate of the unemployment rate: 3.6% vs. 3.7% previously
  • Participation rate before 62.3%
  • Previous underemployment U6 6.7%
  • Average hourly earnings y/y exp +4.7% y/y vs. +5.0% before
  • Average hourly earnings m/m exp +0.3% vs. +0.3% before
  • Average weekly hours exp 34.5 vs 34.5 before

Here’s the picture of October’s jobs so far:

  • ADP employment 239K vs. 195K expected
  • ISM manufacturing employment 50.0 vs. 48.7 before
  • ISM service employment 49.1 vs 53.0 before
  • Challenger job cuts of 33,843 vs. 29,989 previously
  • Empire Fed Employment 7.7 vs. 9.7 previously
  • Initial survey of unemployment insurance claims week 214K vs 233K a month ago
  • September JOLTS 10,717m vs 10,053m expected

BMO notes that, seasonally, the payroll print tends to beat forecasts in October, beating estimates 52% of the time and missing 48% of the time by 71k and 39k, on average. Only 16% of previous unemployment rate readings in October were higher than expected, 48% were better than estimates and 36% were in line with forecasts.

Today the White House said it expects job gains of 150,000 per month in the coming months, which is an oddly specific number.

In terms of trading, we are undoubtedly in an environment where good news is bad and a high number would hurt stocks and bonds in the short term. In terms of FX, a strong report risks triggering another round of broad US Dollar gains. Fund managers are already saying it’s the busiest trade in the world, but of the 6 major central banks that adjusted policy in the last 8 days, the only one that was progressively hawkish was the Federal Reserve.


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