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NFP Preview: Job growth likely improved in January – Wells Fargo

Next Friday, the US official employment report will be released. Analysts at Wells Fargo, expect a positive reading around 170K in NFP; above market consensus of 156K. 

Key Quotes: 

“Job growth likely improved in January, coming in at a more trendlike 170K gain after employers added 145K jobs in December. Jobless claims have settled down in recent weeks, while sub-indices of egional purchasing managers’ surveys indicate hiring firming. The kick-off of the Census year may give payrolls an additional small lift.”

“The January release will include the annual benchmark revisions to payrolls. The preliminary estimates showed that there were 501K fewer jobs in March 2019 than is currently published—the largest revision since 2009. More recent data will not be affected by the benchmark process, but the weaker momentum of 2018-early 2019 could influence expectations for payroll growth going forward.”

“The unemployment rate will likely remain unchanged at 3.5%. It is a close call on average hourly earnings growth, but we expect a 0.3% gain for January and for the year-ago change to tick back up to 3.0%.”

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