DXY Falls as Unemployment Flattens and Hourly Earnings Disappoint
- US non-farm payrolls rose by 313k in February, far above the 205k expectation
- The Unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, markets expected a decline of 0.1%
- US hourly earnings did not meet market expectations at +2.6% from 2.8% previously
This morning the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported total nonfarm payroll (NFP) employment expanded by a staggering 313k jobs in February, far above the projected 205k figure. However, unemploymentrate was unchanged at 4.1%, whereas markets expected it to fall slightly to 4.0%. The construction, retail trade, professional and business services, manufacturing, financial activities, and mining lead the way in the better-than-expected NFP figure.
Unemployment: Largely Unchanged
As previously mentioned, the unemployment figure at 4.1% was unchanged from the previous figured in January. Those jobless for 27 weeks or more, considered “long-term unemployed,” was essentially unchanged at 1.4 million in February accounting for about a fifth for of the total unemployed.
Labor Force: Ticked up to 63%
Civilian labor force increased by 806k in February. This contributed to a 0.3% increase in the labor force participation rate to 63%. This exceeding market expectations which were at 62.7%
Part-time employment was also little changed at 5.2 million in February.
Employment by Sector
Last month, the construction sector add 61k jobs. Constructionhas added a total of 185k jobs over the past 4 months. Retail trade employment rose by 50k over the month. Although, over the past 4 months, which traditionally, see the bulk of the holiday hiring and layoff, employment in has changed little on net. As for employment in professional and business services, 50k jobs were added and has risen by 495k over the year.
Manufacturing added 31k jobs in February and over the past year manufacturing has added 224,000 jobs.
Last month average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by a meager $0.04 to $26.75, after a 7-cent uptick in January. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 68 cents (+2.6%).
For more on this morning’s NFP data be sure to tune into Live Data Coverage: US Change in NFPs.
Below is a list of economic releases that has driven the US Dollar lower:
- USD Change in Non-farm Payrolls (FEB): 313k versus 205k expected, from 239k (revised higher from 200k)
- USD Unemployment Rate (FEB): 4.1% versus 4.0% expected, from 4.1% previous
- USD Change in Private Payrolls (FEB): 287k versus 205k expected, from 238k (revised higher from 196k) previous
- USD Average Hourly Earnings (YoY) (FEB): 2.6% versus 2.8% expected, from 2.8% (revised lower from 2.9%) previous
Chart 1: DXY Index 15-minute Chart (March 6 - 9, 2018)
Given the stronger-than-expected NFP print, this is not the reaction markets were likely expecting. DXY rose modestly at the release of the jobs data just before falling below 90.30. Dollar sentiment likely soured on weak earnings growth and the unchanged employment rate. At the time that this was written DXY traded at 90.25.
--- Written by Dylan Jusino, DailyFX Research
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.