Today at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the March nonfarm payrolls report.
The average estimate among the 87 economists surveyed by Bloomberg is for 190,000 new nonfarm payrolls created in March, down from February's 236,000 gain.
Private sector payrolls are expected to rise by 200,000 after a 246,000 advance in February.
The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 7.7 percent.
On Wednesday, ADP released its estimate for private payroll creation. The number came in at 158,000, well below the 200,000 predicted by economists. However, ADP revised up its February number to 237,000 from 198,000, almost perfectly offsetting the miss.
TD Securities economist Millan Mulraine says markets may be discounting a negative outcome, writing in a note that " recent positioning in the markets (captured by the dramatic rally in Treasures) suggests that the 'whisper number' may be for something far weaker—closer to 150K."
Of course, as Mulraine points out, that could be setting markets up for a positive surprise today.
Just like last month, Société Générale economist Brian Jones is the most bullish economist headed into tomorrow's report (Jones was also closest to the mark on February's number). He is predicting 230,000 nonfarm payrolls added in March.
Below is his take:
Non-agricultural establishments probably added 230,000 net new workers jobs in March, almost matching the 236,000 rise posted in February. A variety of factors support our expectation for yet another solid job gain last month (see accompanying table). Consistent with a significantly slower pace of layoffs during the reference period, the average number of persons filing new claims for unemployment insurance remained on a downtrend over the four weeks heading into the March survey period, retreating by 17,600 to a 51⁄2-year low of 340.800.
Implying that previously unemployed workers are in fact finding jobs, regular state benefit recipients contracted by 52,000 between canvasses to 3.05 million – the lowest tally since May 2008. The return of 8,000 striking New York City school bus drivers will also provide a modest lift to the March job count. On the weather front, March was significantly cooler than usual measured by heating degree days. However, precipitation was well below normal levels nationwide. As a result, our projection assumes that the number of persons unable to work due to bad weather will match the 140,000 average posted in March over the past five years.
The table below shows the inputs into Jones's forecast.
Toby Dayton, CEO of online job posting website LinkUp, has the highest NFP estimate of those surveyed by Bloomberg – he's predicting 366,000 nonfarm payrolls were created in March.
Dayton uses the growth of job listings on LinkUp – which he says has the purest dataset on job postings out there – to make his forecasts. (Last month, his estimate was second only to that of SocGen's Brian Jones.)
According to Dayton, LinkUp has observed strong growth in employment vacancies recently – foreshadowing a strong nonfarm payroll number on Friday.
Last month's number was definitely a positive surprise. Can the American economy deliver better-than-expected job growth two months in a row?
Friday's jobs report is out at 8:30 AM ET. Follow the release LIVE on Business Insider >
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