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Livesquawk - US Non-farm Payrolls Poised For Another Surge
US Non-farm Payrolls Poised For Another Surge

- Non-farm payrolls set to rise 650k (prev 370k)

- Jobless rate forecast at 6.0% (6.2%)

- CDC director warns of “impending doom”

- Data due Friday at 12:30 GMT


By Eric Culp, European Editor

LiveSquawk News



31 March 2021 | 16:15 GMT


If a jobs report falls on a holiday, does it make a sound?


That may be the question some equity traders are pondering as March non-farm payrolls data arrives on Good Friday, a day when many of the world’s major stock markets are closed for the holiday.


But traders dealing on debt and currency markets on the last day of the work week will be eying the US labour picture, which is poised to improve significantly yet again.


Non-farm payrolls for March are expected to surge by 650,000, according to economists, a noteworthy rise following the unexpectedly strong increase of 370,000 in February. Analysts predict that the jobless rate will shed two-tenths of a percentage point and fall to 6.0% from the previous month’s level.


“With recent robust survey data pointing to upbeat business confidence, buoyed by the vaccine rollout and new USD 1.9 trillion stimulus measures, hiring is likely to have remained solid in March,” IHS Markit said.


The ADP private payrolls report for March backed that hypothesis on Wednesday: Companies added 517,000 employees this month, a major improvement over the increase of 176,000 in February.


On the mend, for the moment

The US continues to slough off many of the effects of the pandemic as the number of inoculations continues to rise and more and more government leaders lift restrictions designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.


“The past month has seen steady progress on Covid-19 vaccinations and a notable pickup in household mobility metrics to new post-pandemic highs,” HSBC said, predicting a rise in payrolls of 650,000 this month.


But TD Securities tried to put the current heat in the America job market into perspective: “Payrolls are likely to remain well below the pre-pandemic level for a while, even with booming monthly readings. As of February 2021, payrolls were down 9.5mn from the February 2020 level.”


And US officials have warned that coronavirus cases have been rising at an alarming rate, which could undercut the current recovery. The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that she felt a recurring feeling of “impending doom” about the current situation in the US.