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The US gained 163K Non-Farm Payrolls in July and the unemployment rate stands on 8.3%.  Early expectations stood on a gain of around 100K jobs and an unemployment rate of 8.2%.

USD/JPY leaps on the positive surprise. EUR/USD is choppy and but eventually slides.

Update: USD/JPY continues the rally, and is already 50 pips higher. This is a lot for this slow moving pair.

  • Private payrolls rose by 172K, much better than expected, and quite close to the ADP figure of +163K for the private sector.
  • Also the “real unemployment rate is on the rise: from 14.9% to 15%. U-6 includes also the people described as “marginally attached to the labor force”.
  • Adam Button notes that the rise in the unemployment rate is much smaller than it seems: from 8.217% to 8.254% this month.
  • The participation rate is at 63.7% and the employment to population ratio is 58.4%.

In recent months, gains in jobs were subdued. The initial report for last month stood on a gain of 80K. This was now revised to the downside, to +64K. On the other hand, May’s figure was now revised to the upside, from 77K to 87K.

— Updates coming —

Ben Bernanke and his colleagues at the FOMC did not alter policy whatsoever in this week’s meeting. Some still see a chance of QE3 in September, others in December. Today’s figure will certainly impact the upcoming decision in September.