Nonfarm Payrolls April 2012 – Dollar Higher SP500 Lower On U.S. Employment Data
The dollar gained versus its major counterparts on broad based risk aversion flows following the NFP data release; the jobs report failed to meet investors’ pre-release expectations.
Analysts had widely forecasted a figure of around 160,000-170,000 pre NFP. Fed chair Ben Bernanke last week advised the U.S. economy would need to create around 150,000 to 200,000 jobs per month in order to to hit projected Fed estimates.
The weaker than expected data didn’t have an immediately obvious impact on the USD. Nonetheless, risk aversion eventually hit the markets and the USD gained accordingly. See the recent EURUSD and GBPUSD analysis updates for the respective currency pairs. This NFP release does not look to have a major bearing on potential QE3 decisions.
The S&P 500, which is often seen as a barometer for risk, experienced the worst week seen in 2012. The benchmark US index dropped 2.4% this week but is up 8.9% on an annual basis.
Key employment statistics are shown below from this report.
- The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. Nonfarm payroll employment level has risen by 115,000 over April, with the unemployment rate seeing a modest change at 8.1%.
- This increase comes after a gain of 154,000 was seen in March.
- The average gain per month for December to February was a much higher 252,000.
- The key figures were little changed this month with the number of unemployed individuals at 12.5 million and the rate of unemployment at 8.1 percent.
- The long-term unemployment figure has fallen over the year; this statistic shows the level of individuals who were jobless for 27 weeks or over and came in barely changed at the 5.1 million level for April. The long-term unemployed group represented 41.3% of total unemployed individuals.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Non Farm Payrolls Data.