Non-Farm Payrolls: Big Miss in December, but is this due to Shortage of Workers?

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The US economy added less than expected number of new jobs in December the Department of Labour said on Friday. It’s clear now that despite of December seasonal boost in hiring, it appears that the labour market started to show first noticeable cracks.

Non-farm employment increased by 145K in December, materially lower than the forecast of 164K. The unemployment rate has not changed, staying at record low of 3.5%. Average hourly wages increased by 0.1% per month missing the estimate of 0.3%.

October and November downward revisions amounted to -14K jobs.

The Fed stated on the last meetings that it plans to keep the interest rate unchanged at least till the end of 2020. The December jobs miss is barely a guide for stocks now – the Fed wants to see if there a slack in a trend not separate reading. That’s why we saw EURUSD and Gold quickly erasing upside spike and returning to pre-NFP levels. There is also a possibility that shortage of workers also resulted in lower than expected number of new jobs created since the unemployment remained at 3.5%.

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