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The US jobs report leading indicators keep showing mixed signals. The two big indicators released today pointed to different trends. The US ADP private employment report estimated  a healthy increase of 275K jobs in April, which shows an improvement relative to the 151K in March, upgraded from 129K originally reported. Meanwhile, the Employment Index of the ISM Manufacturing PMI survey showed some moderate retracement in April, falling to 52.4% from the very upbeat 57.5% seen in March.

The ADP Employment Change number is a highly  correlated figure to the Non-Farm Payrolls, which might indicate that Friday’s NFP number might rise above the the averages of around 200k seen in the current positive employment trend. According to our NFP guide, “investors often consider the ADP report as  the harbinger of the BLS release on payroll jobs, the NFP, because of the  existent correlation between the two”.

On the other hand, the Employment Index of the ISM Manufacturing PMI provides a more specific signal on the status of the manufacturing labor market, which might be taking a small step back after a big surge in March. Our NFP crash course mentions that  “some analysts suggest that the Manufacturing ISM has a closer relationship with payrolls, as jobs in this sector can be easier to measure. In contrast, it can be hard to measure jobs in the services sector due to the temporary nature of some of these jobs, remote working etc”. This week, the signal shown by the ISM Manufacturing PMI might be stronger as the non-manufacturing index (accounting for around 70% of the US jobs) will not be released until 90 minutes after the jobs report, failing to provide any clue.

These two figures are the sixth and seventh indicators released ahead of Friday’s April US jobs report. Yesterday, we saw the CB Consumer Confidence Index rise up to 129.2 in April, a big increase from the 124.2 figure shown in March. That was the third positive  signal from our pre-release checklist, which is still quite mixed, with two negative signals coming from the University of Michigan Consumer Confidence and the JOLTS report.  Overall, the checklist is still slightly biased to the positive side. Check it out: