Non-farm payrolls for February 2019

nonfarm payrolls chart
  • Worst since Sept 2017
  • Prior was 304K (revised to +311K)
  • Estimates ranged from 125K to 250K
  • Two month net revision +12K
  • Unemployment rate 3.8% vs 3.9% expected
  • Participation rate 63.2% vs 63.2% prior
  • Avg hourly earnings +0.4% vs +0.3% exp
  • Avg hourly earnings 3.4% y/y vs +3.3% exp
  • Private payrolls +25K vs +170K exp
  • Manufacturing +4K vs +12K exp
  • U6 underemployment 7.3% vs 8.1% prior

The details are better for the US dollar than the headline. USD/JPY kicked lower to 110.80 from 111.15 but has mostly recovered. and the other moves have faded as well.

Periodically there is a big miss in the numbers. You can see it every year or two on the long term chart. January was unusually strong and there was no reason for it. It's all about seasonal adjustments and the unemployment rate tells a better story than the headline. In fact, if you strip out the main headline, all the details are good. I don't think this is going to spook the Fed and I don't think it's going to spook the market for long.