Labor Department Has Unexpected Score on Unemployment and Payrolls

US_Dept_of_LaborThe U.S. Labor Department has issued its key unemployment and payrolls data for the month of March. With stocks at an all-time high, the trader and market participation interest was very high going into this report. The monthly numbers might now exactly jump out here, but the revisions and the total summation from the bottom should stand out.

Unemployment was pegged flat at 6.7%. The nonfarm payrolls gain was some 192,000, and the private sector payrolls report was up by 192,000. This means that all the gains came from the private sector.

Bloomberg was calling for a rate of 6.6%, versus 6.7% the prior month. Bloomberg was also calling for 206,000 in nonfarm payrolls and 215,000 in private sector payrolls. Dow Jones was calling for 200,000 in nonfarm payrolls.

January and February payrolls were revised higher by a total of 37,000. This means that the weather-related weakness has been smoothed out.

Another standout number was that the private sector payrolls reached 116.09 million, just above the prior high of 115.98 million that was seen in January of 2008. The Bureau of Labor Statistics commissioner even pointed out that the 8.8 million private sector job losses during the downturn has now been recovered as 8.9 million jobs have been gained since the lows of February 2010. At the same time, local, state and federal governments have slashed about 535,000 jobs.

Right before the numbers were issued, the S&P 500 futures were up three points and the DJIA futures were up 22 points. Also, the 10-year Treasury yield was 2.79%. Friday's report will allow Janet Yellen to keep tapering, and it should not be considered any huge gain or flop by the markets.

Filed under: Economy
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