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The US jobs report for December is due out at 13:30 GMT and as we get closer to the release time, here are the forecasts of economists and researchers of five major banks regarding the upcoming employment data. US Nonfarm Payrolls is set to show a modest gain of 71,000 jobs  in December amid the winter wave of the virus, down from 245,000 in November. The Unemployment Rate is set to rise from 6.7% to 6.8%.

Ahead of the employment data, the US dollar is holding onto its gains, as bond yields remain elevated.


“Payrolls have been rising rapidly by pre-covid standards, but the pace has been slowing, and the level is still down by 9.8 million since February. The pace probably slowed to the point of contraction in December. Indeed, we forecast a 50K decline for payrolls, while the consensus is looking for a +50K gain. We expect the downtrend in the unemployment rate to at least stall in the next few months before vaccines help turn momentum in employment positive again during the course of 2021. Even then, improvement will likely be slowed by recovery in the participation rate.”


“Hiring could have slowed considerably in the month judging from stagnation in unemployment claims between the November and December reference periods. This development may have translated into just a 50K increase in payrolls. The household survey is expected to show a similar progression in employment which would be consistent with a 0.1% decrease in the unemployment rate to 6.6%, assuming the participation rate fell one tick in the month to 61.4%.”

Deutsche Bank

“The final US jobs report of 2020 is expected by our economists to show just a +50K increase in Nonfarm Payrolls, which would be the weakest monthly job growth since the pandemic began, and coincides with renewed lockdown measures in numerous states in response to the recent surge in cases. They expect that the unemployment rate will tick up to 6.8%, in its first increase since the first wave of the pandemic back in April.”


“We look for payrolls growth of 50K with the unemployment rate moving slightly higher to 6.9%.”


“We expect 120K new jobs in December. Risks are asymmetric – a negative reading would be seen as transitory but a 250K+ reading would show an economy more resilient than markets had priced.”