Powell holding sign that says JOBS AI image
AI image

What's expected:

  • Consensus estimate +243K (range +150 to +280K)
  • Private +190K estimate vs +232K prior
  • March +303K
  • Unemployment rate consensus estimate: 3.8% vs 3.8% prior
  • Participation rate: 62.7% prior
  • Prior underemployment U6 7.3%
  • Avg hourly earnings y/y exp +4.0% y/y vs +4.1% prior
  • Avg hourly earnings m/m exp +0.3% vs +0.3% prior
  • Avg weekly hours exp 34.4 vs 34.4 prior

April jobs so far:

  • ADP report +192K vs +175K expected and +208K prior
  • ISM services employment released Friday at 10 am ET
  • ISM manufacturing employment 48.6 vs 47.4 prior
  • Challenger job cuts 64.7K vs 90.3K prior (four month low)
  • Philly employment -10.7 vs -9.6 prior
  • Empire employment -5.7 vs -7.1 prior
  • Initial jobless claims survey week 212K

According to BMO, the headline payrolls print is seasonally positive in April – coming in above estimates 57% of the time (by an average of 62k), missing 39% of the time (by an average of 50k), and matching consensus 4% of the time (excl. 2020/21). In terms of the unemployment rate, 44% of previous reads in April have been lower-than-expected, 36% have been higher-than-estimates, and 20% have matched forecasts.

Generally these numbers point to a beat but the consensus is the highest since September 2022, which suggests economists have priced in much of the upside already.

Nonfarm payrolls and the consensus
Nonfarm payrolls and the consensus est

The low estimate on non-farm payrolls at +150K is from Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon and I asked him why: