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Karim writes:

Strong number; details mostly firm:

  • NFP -11k with net revisions +159k
  • UE rate down from 10.196% to 9.992%
  • Diffusion index up from 32.5 to 40.6
  • Hours index up 0.6%
  • U6 unemployment down from 17.5% to 17.2%


  • Construction -56k to -27k
  • Retail -44k to -15k
  • Temp 44k to 52k
  • Leisure/hospitality -36k to -11k

Main weak spots were average hourly earnings at 0.1% and median duration of unemployment up from 18.7 weeks to 20.1 weeks

No question a strong report (should actually still say less bad as any decline in jobs is still bad). If payrolls and claims maintain recent improvement through current period of seasonal adjustment questions (and confirmed by other labor market metrics like ISM employment series, Conf Board surveys,etc), could see Fed drop the ‘2 Es’ earlier than previously thought (perhaps as soon as March meeting).