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With the calendar flipping over to June 2018, the all-important May month’s nonfarm payrolls report is landing today. As we get closer to the release time, here are the expectations as forecasted by the economists and researchers of 7 major banks regarding the upcoming employment report.

Most of the economists and researchers are expecting US NFP to post a strong reading in between 190K to 205K in May, against its previous reading of 164k in April. In addition, the market consensus is pointing towards a 0.2% month-over-month increase in average hourly earnings, which translates to 2.6% year-on-year print.


The printed market consensus from the May non-farm payrolls number is 190K, up from 164K in April. The better number is no doubt drawn from the firm indications stemming from confidence measures and initial claims data. That said, the softer tone of the May ADP report releases earlier in the week will have chipped away at some of the market’s confidence regarding this release. The average earnings measure is expected to hold at 2.6% y/y, consistent with the pace of growth recorded during the past three months.  

Goldman Sachs

We see the labor market as at or a bit beyond full employment, and at some point, diminished slack should exert downward pressure on job growth. We estimate that nonfarm payrolls increased 205k in May, 15k above consensus. While labor supply constraints often weigh on May job creation when the labor market is beyond full employment, we believe strong jobless claims data, rebounding business surveys, and a return to normal weather suggest a pickup in payroll growth. We estimate the unemployment rate remained stable at 3.9% in May. We estimate a 0.2% month-over-month increase in average hourly earnings (2.6% year-on-year).


We forecast a solid 205k nonfarm payroll employment increase in May, with essentially all of the gain coming from private employers. Incoming labor market data point to steady employment growth and a still-low unemployment rate, consistent with our optimistic outlook for Q2 and 2018. We expect average hourly earnings to increase 0.22% m-o-m, likely leaving the y-o-y rate unchanged at 2.6%. Finally, we expect the unemployment rate to remain unchanged on a rounded basis at 3.9%. The downward pressure on the unemployment rate from the solid pace of job creation may have been partly offset by those joining the labor market encouraged by continued strong labor market conditions.


One of the takeaways is that whatever thunder was possible from today’s US jobs report was probably stolen.   That means that barring a significant surprise, it is unlikely to trigger a large more.   Surveys suggest the market anticipates a recovery from the 164k net new jobs in April.   The 12-month average stands at 190k.   Earnings growth is more the focus, but it moves slowly  and is expected to be unchanged at 2.6%.  

Danske Bank

On the data front,  the most important release of the day is the US jobs report for May. Once again, average hourly earnings  is the key number to watch. We estimate wages rose +0.2% m/m in May, in line with the recent trend, implying an unchanged annual growth rate of 2.6% y/y. We estimate that nonfarm payrolls rose 190,000 and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9%.”

Deutsche Bank

In the US there will be the May employment report due in 1:30pm BST including nonfarm payrolls (190k expected), unemployment rate and the all-important average hourly earnings (2.6% yoy expected).


WBC 180k, Unemployment rate WBC 3.9%

Employment growth remains strong in the US, the year-to-date average being ahead of 2017 and materially above population growth. In coming months, a slight softening is anticipated, bringing 2018 into line with 2017 and 2016. Still well ahead of population growth, this outcome will see the unemployment rate push lower in coming months from the already historically low 3.9% of April. Importantly, underemployment is also continuing to trend lower, signalling a further taking up of slack in the labour market. A key reason why this decline in labour market slack has not translated into higher wages growth is because prime-aged individuals outside the labour market continue to return. This is expected to persist over the coming year.

Click here to read more about the NFP preview from our Chief Analyst Valeria Bednarik titled “Nonfarm Payroll preview: volatility coming, but no lasting effect expected“