Preview of all the numbers that matter ahead of the November 2015 non-farm payrolls employment report:

The US employment report is due at 8:30 am ET on Friday, Dec 4, 2015

  • Median NFP estimate 200k (190k Private)
  • Oct 271K
  • Highest estimate 267k (Southbay)
  • Lowest estimate 150k (Deutsche Bank)
  • Average estimate 201k
  • Standard deviation 22.3k
  • Unemployment rate exp 5.0% vs 5.0% prior
  • Participation rate exp 62.4% unch
  • Avg hourly earnings m/m exp 0.2% vs 0.4% prior
  • Avg hourly earnings y/y exp 2.3% y/y vs 2.5% prior
  • Avg weekly hours exp 34.5 vs 34.5 prior

Here's the Nov jobs story so far

  • ADP 217K vs 196k prior (exp 190K)
  • ISM manufacturing employment 51.3 vs 47.6 prior
  • ISM non-manufacturing employment 55.0 vs 59.2 prior
  • Initial jobless claims 4 wk avg 269K vs 262k prior (for Oct NFP survey date)
  • Consumer confidence jobs hard to get 26.2 vs 24.6 prior
  • Conference board help wanted online demand for hiring +232K
  • Challenger layoffs 30.9K vs 50.5k prior
  • Sept JOLTS 5526k vs 5370k prior

If you can guess the non-farm payrolls number on our Facebook page, you can win a ForexLive t-shirt.

The consumer was in a bit of a sour mood in November but that's more of a leading indicator while employment is lagging. Consumer surveys from the Conference Board and U Mich were soft and so were car sales. It doesn't bode well for the future but for this month it's probably not a factor.

On the upside the Fed's Beige Book, which was collected up to Nov 24, was positive on employment, especially hires at temp agencies and part time. That may simply be a reflection of the strong October report but it's an upside risk for non-farm payrolls.

As for trading it, I made the case for euro longs into the numbers (see: EUR/USD: Who has the upper hand ahead of non-farm payrolls?). I think US dollar bulls are wounded at the moment and they have a lot more to lose from a soft report than to gain from a strong number.

Overall, I'm not a fan of gambling on a number like this. It's very hard to get an edge from other employment indicators and outliers are an ever-present possibility. I like trades ahead of the numbers and immediately afterwards, but holding a position through the trade is an unnecessary risk.