Nonfarm payrolls headline soft but revisions and unemployment rate tell a different story

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The nonfarm payrolls headline is weak but the market reaction is overly dramatic.

The US dollar is getting killed on the kneejerk. Especially in focus is the drop in private payrolls at 126K vs 180K. The August revision on the private side was to 161K from 152K, which is much smaller than the upward revision to government jobs.

The good news is that the unemployment rate fell to 7.2% — the lowest since Nov 2008. It doesn’t come on a drop in labor force participation, which held at 63.2%.

This number isn’t as bad as the market reaction suggests but maybe it reflects pent-up demand to dump dollars, rather than a true reaction. Given the struggles of the US dollar, not sure now is the right time to fade this move.

Author: Adam Button

Adam Button is the managing editor of ForexLive™. He was previously the chief currency strategist at XForex and has also worked with Intermarket Strategy. Adam believes there's an edge in knowing every tidbit of news. He was formerly the head of the markets team at the Canadian Economic Press and is a graduate of Ryerson University. Adam lives in Montreal, follow him on Twitter: @FX_Button.


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  1. Ouch. Hit my stops! sigh.

  2. Oops…..I faded it!!

  3. It might work Anwar.

  4. nailed it adam. when do we fade it is the right question.
    @nrek. not wise to carry positions into volatile event risks. learn that lesson now.

  5. longing nzd and aud from here. Right way to go?

  6. i had gone into the nfps deciding to fade any exaggerated move( defined by my indicators and levels). best way to have played this event this week.

  7. These are more than bad numbers. And the debt ceiling shocker will come in a couple of weeks. Apart from negotiations about spending cuts. Sell, sell, sell. At least that´s what I am doing.

  8. I hope so Adam…..I took EURUSD…Cable…Kiwi…XAUUSD….Stops just above the Highs!! Of course, my stops will probably get hit, and then the FADE will continue…:-)

  9. Someone forgot CAD retail sales in NFP!

  10. @Amit. yes, sales ex autos rose 0.4% vs 0.2% exp… USD/CAD not sure which way to go

  11. IMHO that 7.2% with no participation drop is the bigger number to look at.

  12. I wrote a comment on this site last night as to why I expected an “overreaction” to this release:

    “To me, the fact that the data in this release is “old” means that the expected/consensus value for the headline figure will be more accurate than it would otherwise be, and it would therefore be reasonable to expect the actual figure to be closer than it would otherwise be to the expected figure.

    However, this implies that any noticeable/substantial deviation from what is expected would in turn be more of a surprise to the market than normal…”

  13. 154,000 Fewer Women Held Jobs in September; Female Participation in Labor Force Matches 24-Year Low – See more at:

  14. Did You notice, today Gold start to runing up 5 minutes before release!

  15. Yes, I wrote about it as it was happening.

  16. Sorry, miss that. On the ‘no taper’ day gold start 1 minute before and today I think to myself, this could be a false move, it’s to early. Yap, it wasn’t false! :)


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