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Non-Farm Payrolls come out as expected, at +223K, but revisions don’t look good. The previous figure was revised down to 85K. Average hourly earnings rise only 0.1% but rose to +2.2% y/y. The good news is that the unemployment rate is down and this is accompanied by a rise in the participation rate to 62.8%, which is good news.

The USD is weaker initially but the move is reversing. It’s quite messy – more coming

The United States was expected to report a gain of 228K non-farm jobs in April, a bounce back from the disappointing rise of 126K in March (before revisions).

Here is how to trade the NFP with EUR/USD.  The US dollar was looking for a new direction before the publication.

Data (updated)

  • Non-Farm Payrolls:  +223K  (exp. +228K,previously 126K  before revisions)
  • Participation Rate: 62.8%  (62.7% last month )
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.4%  (exp.5.4%,  last month 5.5% before revisions)
  • Revisions: –39K – March only +85K and February +2K..(-69K last month)
  • Average Hourly Earnings: +0.1% m/m, +2.2% y/y  (exp. +0.3% m/m, last month +0.3% m/m, 2.1% y/y)
  • Private Sector: +213K  (ADP showed a gain of +169K jobs, but with a big positive revision).
  • Real Unemployment Rate (U-6): 10.8%(previous: 10.9%).
  • Employment to population ratio: 59.3%(previous: 59.3%)
  • Average  workweek: 34.5  (last month: 34.6).

Analysis and currency reaction (updated)

Analysis:  3 reasons to go long USD on the NFP

  • EUR/USD  traded around 1.1215, down from the highs. The pair moved up to 1.1290 (resistance) before sliding back down below 1.12 and back up around the pre-publication levels.
  • GBP/USD traded around 1.5450 riding on the UK election results. IT is now battling 1.54.
  • USD/JPY 120. We had a “mini flash crash” and the pair is around 120 once again.
  • USD/CAD 1.21. Canada also released employment data which disappointed. The pair is higher at 1.2120.
  • AUD/USD  traded above 0.7915, still impacted by the RBA move. The Aussie slips below 0.79.
  • NZD/USD around 0.7440, pressured after weak employment data in New Zealand. 0.7440 is the latest read.


The good:

  • A  drop in the unemployment rate with a rise in the participation rate
  • A drop in the real unemployment rate
  • A rise in y/y  wage growth from 2.1% to 2.2%.

The bad:

  • A revision to only 85K jobs gained for March – very poor
  • A rise of only +0.1% in m/m wages.

The ugly: market reaction, which has been very choppy, but it is understandable given the data.


The US dollar urgently needed a comeback in jobs after the big disappointment in March and the weak data in Q1 in general. Leading to the event, the ADP report for the private sector cast a shadow over the job market while the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI as well as jobless claims provided some hope.