Preview of all the numbers that matter ahead of December 2018 non-farm payrolls employment report:

The US employment report is due at 8:30 am ET on Friday, January 4, 2018:

  • Median NFP estimate 184K (185k private)
  • November 155K
  • Highest estimate 225k
  • Lowest estimate 160k
  • Average estimate 185.5K
  • Standard deviation 14.8k
  • Unemployment rate exp 3.7% vs 3.7% prior
  • Prior participation rate 62.9%
  • Underemployment U6 prior 7.6%
  • Avg hourly earnings y/y exp 3.0% y/y vs 3.1% prior
  • Avg hourly earnings m/m exp +0.3% vs +0.2% prior
  • Avg weekly hours exp 34.5 vs 34.4 prior

Here's the December jobs story so far

  • ADP 271K vs 157K prior (180K expected)
  • ISM non-manufacturing employment not yet released
  • ISM manufacturing employment 56.2 vs 58.4 prior
  • Initial jobless claims 4 wk avg 218K vs 233K prior
  • Claims during reference week 221K
  • Consumer confidence jobs hard to get 11.6 vs 12.6 prior
  • Conference board help wanted online demand for hiring not yet released
  • October JOLTS 7079K vs 6960k prior

Note that this report will also contain revisions to the household survey data so that could mean so significant changes to the numbers from earlier in 2018.

The way I see it there's a big skew here. If the report is strong the market is going to brush it off because jobs are a lagging indicator and we already had a very strong ADP print. If it's weak, however, it's going to add to the doom and gloom in markets and it will spell more trouble for equities and the US dollar, especially against the yen.