As the Labor Department prepares the release of its big Jobs Report today at 8:30 a.m. EDT, Goldman Sachs (GS) economist expect Friday’s March jobs report will show the unemployment rate at 6.6%, down from 6.7% in February. Goldman also predicts the U.S. economy added 200K jobs last month from 175,000 in February.
A 6.6 percent unemployment rate will match the lowest level since October 2008.
Here is Goldman’s forecast:[via Zero Hedge] “We forecast a 200,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls in March, in line with consensus expectations. We view the reasonably solid February gain of 175,000 despite extremely adverse weather conditions as providing some confirmation that the underlying trend growth rate of payrolls remains solid. Key employment indicators looked mixed-to-better in March, and despite the continued cold temperatures, less extreme weather conditions overall should give an additional boost to job gains this month.
We expect that the unemployment rate declined to 6.6% in March (vs. consensus 6.6%). We also expect that hours worked, which tend to show a larger impact from severe weather conditions, will rebound from their February decline. As the flip side of this rebound in hours, we expect a softer +0.1% gain in average hourly earnings (vs. consensus +0.2%) as last month’s unusually large gain–likely driven by weather distortions–partially reverses.”