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Anders Svendsen, analyst at Nordea Markets, points out that the US Non-farm payrolls increased by a mere 20k in February, while the unemployment rate and especially the broad unemployment rate dropped, while wage growth picked up.

Key Quotes

“Key numbers from the February Labour Market report

  • Nonfarm payrolls: 20k (consensus: 180k, last + revised: 304k +7k)
  • Average hourly earnings: 0.4% m/m (consensus: 0.3% m/m, last: 0.1% m/m)
  • Unemployment rate: 3.8% (consensus: 3.9%, last: 4.0%)
  • Broad unemployment rate (U6): 7.3% (last: 8.1%)”

“In sum, today’s report is all over the place with a strongly negative surprise on employment and strongly positive surprises on unemployment and wage growth. It looks like another month or two is needed for these readings to stabilise after the government shutdown.”