This is a strange non-farm payrolls report as it falls on the same day as the Good Friday holiday and markets are largely closed. Rather than moving it, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is releasing it at the usual time and that means it will land in thin trading. The market is largely convinced that the Fed is done or almost done already so this report won't be a game-changer but it's still NFP and it's always a top release of the month.

Notably, this report has surprised the consensus to the upside for an astonishing 11 months in a row.

nonfarm payrolls March 2023
  • Consensus estimate +239K (range +150K to +342K)
  • Private +215K
  • January +517K
  • February +311K
  • Unemployment rate consensus estimate: 3.6% vs 3.6% prior
  • Participation rate prior 62.5%
  • Prior underemployment U6 6.8%
  • Avg hourly earnings y/y exp +4.3% y/y vs +4.6% prior
  • Avg hourly earnings m/m exp +0.3% vs +0.2% prior
  • Avg weekly hours exp 34.5 vs 34.5 prior

Here's the March jobs picture so far:

  • ADP employment +145K vs 216K expected
  • ISM manufacturing employment 46.9 vs 49.1 prior
  • ISM services employment 51.4 vs 54.0
  • Challenger Job Cuts +319.4% y/y vs +410% y/y prior
  • Philly employment -10.3 vs +5.1 prior
  • Empire employment -10.1 vs -6.6 prior
  • Initial jobless claims survey week 247K vs 197K expected

In terms of seasonals, there isn't much to go on here with 38% lower than expected and 35% higher than expected with the rest near expectations.

Fed pricing at the moment is 50/50 for a cut or hold at the May 3 meeting. Note that this is the final non-farm payrolls report before that meeting (the next one will be 2 days after the FOMC).

As for Goldman Sachs , here's what they think: "We estimate nonfarm payrolls rose 260k in March (mom sa), above consensus of +230k.. Additionally, while the recent bank stress began ahead of the survey week, we do not expect it to have a meaningful impact .. We estimate the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6%."