More Evidence Nonfarm Payrolls Could Show Smaller-than-Expected Drop

Speculation that Bank of American may need USD$34bn of capital has triggered fresh concern about the results of the stress tests on banks, which are due for release on Thursday. However despite these fears, there is growing evidence that job losses may have tempered with non-farm payrolls likely to see the smallest decline in 6 months. The 4 week moving average of jobless claims have moderated and yesterday, there was an impressive rebound in the employment component of service sector ISM.

This morning, Challenger Gray & Christmas reported the smallest increase in layoffs since September. According to payroll agency ADP, private sector payrolls declined by -491k last month, the smallest increase since October. Although the ADP report has been a poor predictor of non-farm payrolls, it has been relatively reliable directionally and therefore confirms our suspicion that payrolls declined by less than 600k last month.

Yet we still expect the U.S. economy to have lost at least 1/2 million jobs in April and for the unemployment rate to hit a 25 year high. This is indicative of weakness from nearly all perspectives, but it is a start because companies need to slow firing before they can even consider hiring. This is a step in the right direction towards a labor market recovery and why I believe the dollar will trade lower against the higher yielding currencies today.

Graph: Bloomberg

About Kathy Lien 235 Articles

Kathy Lien is an Internationally Published Author and Chief Strategist of, one of the world’s most popular online websites for currency research. Her trading books include the highly acclaimed, Day Trading the Currency Market: Technical and Fundamental Strategies to Profit form Market Swings (2005, Wiley); High Probability Trading Setups for the Currency Market E-Book (2006, Investopedia); and Millionaire Traders: How Everyday People Are Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game (2007, Wiley). As Chief Currency Strategist at FXCM, Kathy is responsible for providing research and analysis for DailyFX, the research arm of FXCM. She also co-edits the BK Forex Advisor, an Premium Service with Boris Schlossberg – one of the few investment advisory letters focusing strictly on the 2 Trillion/day FX market.

Kathy is also one of the authors of Investopedia’s Forex Education section and has written for, the Asia Times Online, Stocks & Commodities Magazine, MarketWatch, ActiveTrader Magazine, Currency Trader, Futures Magazine and SFO. She is frequently quoted by Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, CBS and Bloomberg Radio. She has also hosted trader chats on EliteTrader, eSignal and FXStreet, sharing her expertise in both technical and fundamental analysis.

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