US jobs data is due Friday 6 April 2018 - the March nonfarm payroll report
Preview via Barclays:
- We look for another month of solid employment at 200k jobs gained, though this would represent a deceleration from February. The February employment report was released on March 9, five weeks after the January employment report was released on February 2. This may have accounted for some of the outsized performance in February, whereas the March employment report is released only four months after the February report. In addition, we think concerns about antitrade policies and regulatory concerns in the tech sector may subdue hiring relative to February. Elsewhere, we look for the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth, to 4.0%; average hourly earnings to rise 0.2% m/m and 2.8% y/y; and hours to remain steady at 34.5.
- Nonfarm payrolls employment growth has been particularly strong in recent months. Feb posted a 313k gain, and job gains in the prior two months were also revised up by 54k in total. The three-month average stands at 242k, well up on 2017's 182k and 2016's 195k. After such strength, we are due a softer month, and so forecast a 170k gain. We note however that revisions could do the work and allow for another strong outcome above 200k for the month of Mar.
- Turning to the household survey, had it not been for a jump in participation in Feb, the unemployment rate would have come down to 4.0%. Continued strength in employment will see the threshold attained and breached in coming months. A quick drop below 4.0% is a risk if participation reverses recent gains as employment holds up.