Nonfarm Payrolls Preview: Forecast from nine major banks for February jobs report

The US jobs report for February is due out at 13:30 GMT and as we get closer to the release time, here are the forecasts of economists and researchers  |  05/03/2021 11:16

The US jobs report for February is due out at 13:30 GMT and as we get closer to the release time, here are the forecasts of economists and researchers of nine major banks regarding the upcoming employment data.

An increase of only 182,000 is on the cards, with leading indicators leaning to the downside. The Unemployment Rate is set to remain above 6%. 

Ahead of the release, markets remain depressed after the Fed's Powell mostly dismissed rising bond yields, sending them and the greenback higher.

NBF

“Payrolls may have increased just 100K in the second month of the year. The household survey is expected to show a similar gain in employment, but the unemployment rate could still increase one tick to 6.4% if, as we believe, the participation rate recovered some of the ground lost during the pandemic.”

CIBC

“All signs point to a rebound in hiring in February as public health restrictions were relaxed in many states, jobless claims fell and demand received a lift from fiscal stimulus. While adverse weather weighed on mobility during the survey’s reference week, the winter storm arrived in Texas in the latter part of that week, suggesting that it would have had little impact on hiring for the month, but will show up in aggregate hours worked. We, therefore, expect an above consensus employment gain of 240K in February. The unemployment rate likely remained steady at 6.3% as the participation rate could have risen.”

Citibank

“We expect a solid 410K total jobs added in February and 360K private jobs and expect continued upside in US jobs in coming months. We expect average hourly earnings to be flat in February and a modest increase in the unemployment rate to 6.4%. This reflects expectations for some increased labor force participation.”

Wells Fargo

“We expect to see payrolls climb 210K. Despite stronger hiring, we expect the unemployment rate to remain unchanged after declining sharply to 6.3% in January. An increase in the labor force participation rate, however, would not be surprising and would signal some underlying improvement. A more balanced composition of hiring, with leisure and hospitality, in particular, benefiting from declining COVID cases, points to a modest monthly increase in average hourly earnings of 0.2%. Another soft report akin to January would underscore that the labor market recovery still has a very long road ahead, and a quick snapback is far from assured despite rising optimism around the broader growth outlook. A significantly better-than-expected report, however, would suggest that the more constructive outlook is warranted and the recovery has legs under it that extend beyond temporary fiscal support measures.”

Capital Economics

“We estimate that NFP rose by an above-consensus 500K in February, as the tentative reopening of the leisure and hospitality sector in recent weeks saw earlier jobs losses at bars and restaurants start to reverse. We still suspect the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.3% last month, but think that this will represent only a blip in what is likely to be a continued downward trend. Meanwhile, we expect the trade deficit to have widened slightly in January.”

Deutsche Bank

“We are forecasting a positive picture for February, with growth of 200K in Nonfarm payrolls and a reduction in the unemployment rate to 6.2%. That said, as Fed officials have pointed out on numerous occasions, the unemployment rate underestimates broader slack in the labour market due to misclassification and people leaving the labour force altogether, so it’s worth keeping an eye on broader measures too like the U-6 unemployment rate, which at 11.1% last month is still more than 4pp above its pre-pandemic levels.”

TDS

“The employment data have been much weaker than the spending data and the survey data over the last two months, but the February report will probably show momentum starting to pick up again. We forecast a 300K rise in payrolls, with much more strengthening likely in the months ahead.”

Goldman Sachs

“We expect the headline Nonfarm Payrolls to rise to 225K. It should be noted that the Unemployment Rate is likely to remain unchanged at 6.3%.”

Societé Generale

“We forecast a strong 350K payroll increase, which really wouldn't help USD bears at all.”

 

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