EUR/USD: Trading the Non-Farm Employment Change


The US Non-Farm Employment Change measures the change in the number of employed people, excluding workers in the farming industry. A reading which is higher than the market forecast is bullish for the dollar.

Here are the details and 5 possible outcomes for EUR/USD.

Published on Friday at 1:30 GMT.

Indicator Background

Job creation is one of the most important leading indicators of overall economic activity. Thus, publication of employment data, such as the Non-Farm Employment Change, is highly anticipated by the markets, and the release can change the direction of the US dollar. However, traders should treat this indicator with a great deal of caution – the initial market reation to the release is often in the wrong direction, and the Friday effect must be kept in mind.

In February, the indicator was up to 243K, its best numbers since May 2011. The market prediction for March is lower, at 208K. The indicator has easily surpassed the market forecast for the past two months – can it repeat a third straight time? 

The Greek debt saga refuses to go away. There is growing suspicion that Greece will never get the promised bailout funds, and the chances of a Greek bankruptcy announcement on March 23rd are rising. Such worries continue to weigh on the euro. So, the sentiment is bearish on EUR/USD towards this release.

Technical levels from top to bottom: 1.3437, 1.3333, 1.3280, 1.3212, 1.3150, 1.3050 and 1.30.

5 Scenarios


  1. Within expectations: 202K to 214K: In this scenario, EUR/USD could show some slight fluctuation, but it is likely to remain within range, without breaking any levels.
  2. Above expectations: 215K to 221K: A reading above expectations would signal improving economic expansion, and could push the pair below one support level.
  3. Well above expectations: Above 221K: Another sharp rise in employment numbers could propel EUR/USD downwards, and two or more levels of support or more can be broken.
  4. Below expectations: 195K to 201K: Such a scenario could pull the pair upwards, with one resistance level at risk.
  5. Well below expectations: Below 195K: A poor reading is bearish for the dollar, and EUR/USD could break two or more resistance levels.

For more on the euro, see the EUR/USD forecast.

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About Author

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.