The U.S. Non Farm Payrolls number came in slightly lower than expectations, but the number was still strong, leading to a jump higher in stocks and the U.S. dollar. Analysts were expecting a figure of 1.4 million jobs added and the actual figure was 1.37 million, removing some of the gloom that was present leading into the number.
The real surprise headline was a fall in the unemployment rate, which saw a move lower of almost 2 percentage points from July, coming in at 8.4% versus 10.2% in the previous month. The market was hesitant about the NFP release after ADP Employment figures on Wednesday missed expectations by around 50%, with hopes for 925k jobs seeing a number close to 500k. Thursday’s jobless claims number also came in worryingly high at 880k new unemployment claims. The NFP number will boost traders’ hopes that the recovery is on track for a strong recovery.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 100 points in the first fifteen minutes following the number and it could set the market up for a positive day, after yesterday’s bloodbath in tech stocks. The U.S. dollar index saw a big spike on the release with a move from the 92.78 figure to almost 93.00.
The numbers will also be a boost to President Trump who will want to see the unemployment rate as low as possible with two more releases before the November election.