The US job market gained 243K jobs and the unemployment rate stood on 8.3% in January.
Early expectations stood on a gain of around 150K jobs and a steady unemployment rate of 8.5%. So, this is a huge upside surprise, totally unexpected.
Another piece of good news comes from an actual rise in the labor force: 250K Americans joined the labor force according to the survey of households.
EUR/USD initially jumped on risk appetite, but these excellent (and unbelievable) numbers reduce the case for QE3. The expectations for QE3 drove the dollar lower. This could reverse now. Total revisions add 163K jobs.
USD/JPY is already moving higher. EUR/USD trades very choppily in the 1.3145 to 1.3212 range.
Note that November’s number was revised to the upside, from +100K to +157K. December was only marginally revised from +200K to +203K.
Nevertheless, these expectations were marred by the impact of the government, in both its usual layoffs and the expiry of tax incentives which helped job growth beforehand.
Indeed, the government weighed on the market with a net loss of 14K jobs. The private sector gained 257K. This is even better than ADP, and far better than TrimTabs. Yet all the numbers can be revised in the future, and quite significantly so.
Encouragement could be found in recent months from a drop in the “real unemployment rate”, which dropped gradually to 15.2% in December. January 2012’s real unemployment rate slid to 15.1%.
— More updates coming —