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US Unemployment Falls

James Boston
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There is a lot of US data today, including the Non Farm Payroll numbers as the tomorrow’s July 4th holiday merges two release days into one. Markets are already thinning ahead of the long weekend and the volume of key figures being published today will likely result in some excess volatility, particularly later in the day.

This month’s Non Farm Payroll number has been dislocated from it’s traditional Friday billing but nonetheless remains the key US number on the calendar this week. The figure for June has just been announced as 288k, this is up on last months reading of 217k and also comes in ahead of the market consensus estimate of 212k.

The headline US unemployment rate has also just been released to the market, the level for June is 6.1% as compared to May’s 6.3%. The market consensus ahead of this number was that it would not change on the month.

Wage inflation, or the recent lack of it, is taking on a fresh level of significance for the recovering US economy. Today’s numbers reveal that Average Hourly Earnings have risen 2.0% during the month of June on a year on year basis, this is a drop on the May reading of 2.1%. Month on month the number has not moved from 0.2% expansion, markets held the belief that this number would not change on the month. The Average Weekly Hours worked figure completes the personal incomes picture, the number is being reported as 34.5 for the month of June, this is in comparison to May’s similar 34.5 figure.

Finally, the weekly Jobless Claims numbers have been mixed in with this employment release batch. Initial Jobless Claims for the week ended June 27th have come in at 315k compared to 312k the previous week and an expectation for a 314k reading. Continuing Jobless Claims are reported to the week ending June 20th, this statistic is now reading 2.579M in comparison to the prior weeks reading of 2.571M and a consensus estimate for 2.563M.

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