Instant view: January nonfarm payrolls rose by 243,000

Fri Feb 3, 2012 9:01am EST
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. economy created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January and the unemployment rate dropped to a near three-year low of 8.3 percent, indicating last quarter's growth carried into early 2012.

COMMENTS:

WILLIAM LARKIN, FIXED INCOME PORTFOLIO MANAGER, CABOT MONEY MANAGEMENT, SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS

"That was a surprise. We were way overdue for something like this. Employment operates with a lag and I think what we are seeing is all of this positive economic trend has been slowly grinding into positive territory and this is the employment part of it following behind. If we look at what is going on in the economy, housing is definitely in the bottoming phase in most regions and if you look at the stock market, how strong this year has been, they are all indicators that things are on the right track, and this is another one of those indicators.

"Could we be taken off the tracks by some event that occurs either with geopolitical events or with the Europe situation? Certainly. But for now things are looking more positive."

VASSILI SEREBRIAKOV, CURRENCY STRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO BANK, NEW YORK

"It's a strong number, a very strong number, I would say. It's consistent with the broad improvement in the U.S. economic data, but I think the extent of strength in today's report is somewhat of a surprise, and this is a good sign for the U.S. employment market and the U.S. economy. It should be supportive of equities markets and the wider risk sentiment. The dollar implications I think are mixed. I think we're going to see commodity currencies still outperforming the dollar on this report with the view that monetary policy remains very accommodative. But the dollar seems to be hesitant against the likes of the euro, it might be more mixed on that front. This probably eases QE3 expectations. There does not appear to be any particular economic urgency for the Fed to step in, so I think that is consistent with our central view of steady Federal Reserve policy through 2012."

GENNADIY GOLDBERG, FIXED INCOME STRATEGIST, 4CAST LTD, NEW YORK

"The breakdown appears to be rather solid as the household survey shows the number of employed individuals growing faster than the workforce, suggesting that the drop in the unemployment rate was actually a positive. Manufacturing came as an upside surprise, with leisure and hospitality doing rather well. It is interesting to note that there was no expected unwind in temporary workers however, with anticipations of post-holiday unwinds not panning out. One worrying factor however, is that labor force growth could pick up as discouraged workers re-enter the market, potentially weighing on further unemployment rate declines."   Continued...