US Jobs Report: Something for Everyone, though Still not Enough
The US jobs report was decidedly mixed. There was good and bad news but the bottom line is that the data is still too weak for the Fed to even consider ending its unconventional policy. The economy created a net 114k jobs after the August series was revised to 142k from 96k. The private sector created 104k jobs, slightly better than the 97k gain in August. For the second consecutive month, state and local governments added jobs. Indeed the revisions in July and August time series can fully be accounted for by the government sector.
The unemployment rate fell to 7.8% from 8.1%, the lowest since Jan 2009. The household survey showed an increased 873k jobs were created, the most in a couple of decades.. However, 2/3 were part-time jobs. Of note, the participation rate edged higher to 63.6% from 63.5%.
The work week rose to 34.5 hours from 34.4. Hourly earnings rose 0.3%, compared with a consensus forecast for unchanged. So there are more people working, and working a slightly longer work week, and getting paid a little more.
Factories lost 16k jobs and the favorable trend for manufacturing employment has clearly leveled off. Over the past three months, factories have lost about 21k net jobs.
The $1.3030 area capped the euro yesterday and is capping it in the immediate post jobs activity. A break of $1.2980 would be the first preliminary sign that the advance may be getting tired. Sterling is faring better and has taken out yesterday’s high. The dollar is also making new highs (since Sept 19) against the yen.
Canada’s employment report was stronger than expected and the Canadian dollar has rallied, with the greenback falling to new two week lows. Although Canada’s unemployment rate ticked up to 7.4% from 7.3%, some 52.1k jobs were created, with more than 80% full time. In August, Canada had shed full time work. Support for the US dollar is seen near CAD0.9730. A break could signal another cent decline for the greenback.