US Nonfarm Payrolls decline by 140,000 in December vs. +71,000 expected

Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) in the US fell by 140,000 in December, the data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed on Friday. This reading followed November’s increase of 336,000 (revised from 245,000) and missed the market expectation of +71,000 by a wide margin.

Further details of the publication revealed that the Unemployment Rate stayed unchanged at 6.7% and the Average Hourly Earnings rose by 0.8% on a monthly basis, compared to analysts’ estimate of 0.2%. Finally, the Labor Force Participation Rate remained steady at 61.5%.

Market reaction
With the initial market reaction, the US Dollar Index edged slightly higher and was last seen gaining 0.15% on the day at 89.95.

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“The US has shed 140,000 in December, the first fall since the spring, and worse than expected,” said Analyst Yohay Elam. “The virus has been raging in the last month of 2020 and government support was still in the works.”

Additional takeaways
“In December, employment in leisure and hospitality declined by 498,000, with three-quarters of the decrease in food services and drinking places (-372,000).”

“The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls declined by 0.1 hours to 34.7 hours in December.”

“Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff increased by 277,000 in December to 3.0 million.”

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