AllMarket Outlook
logoArgusMarch 30, 2021

Daily Spotlight: Jobs Data Due Friday

Market Outlook
Bullish - Short term

The Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls report for March will be released on April 2, 2021. This is odd, as the stock market is closed for Good Friday that day. The headlines on the jobs front have started to brighten a bit, as COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed and administered, but progress back to full employment remains slow. Last month, employers added 379,000 jobs, including 355,000 in leisure and hospitality. We look for the jobs data to continue improving in the months ahead. Last week, unemployment claims fell sharply, to 684,000 from 781,000 in the prior week, and continuing claims dropped to 4.1 million from 4.4 million a month ago. Our forecast calls for payroll growth of 550,000 in March. The report will also include the latest reading on unemployment, which declined last month to 6.2% from 6.3%. Part of the challenge for the Federal Reserve and Biden administration will be to not only lower this rate toward 4.0% but also bring back workers who have either retired or become discouraged and left the workforce. The labor participation rate is a low 61.4%, versus a 10-year average of 65%.

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