US nonfarm payrolls increased only 134k in September, well below expectations, but after an upwardly revised 270k jump in August (was 201k), and a bump up to 165k in July from 147k (net +87k). Private payrolls were up 121k versus 254k previously (revised from 204k, and versus 230k ADP). The unemployment rate dropped to 3.7% versus 3.9%. Earnings were up 0.3% on the month, the same as in August (revised from 0.4%), and were 2.75% y/y compared to 2.92% y/y. The workweek was steady at 34.5. The labor force rebounded 150k from -469k, while household employment rose 420k versus -423k. The labor force participation was was flat at 62.7%. The goods producing sector added 46k workers with construction 23k higher and manufacturing payrolls rising 18k. Service sector jobs climbed 75k. Government employment jumped 13k. The BLS said 299k workers were unable to work due to bad weather last month.
The US trade deficit gapped out 6.4% to $53.2 bln in August, close to expectations, following the 9.4% widening to $50.0 bln in July (revised from $50.1 bln). It’s a third consecutive month of widening. Exports declined another 0.8% to $209.4 bln, while imports were up 0.6% to $262.7 bln. The “real” deficit was $86.3 bln versus $82.4 bln (revised from $82.5 bln), with exports falling 1.2% and imports 0.9% firmer. The trade balance with China widened to -$38.6 bln versus -$36.8 bln. The trade gap with Canada narrowed to -$2.7 bln versus -$3.2 bln (revised from -$3.1 bln).
The Dollar moved lower following the data, where the NFP came in under expectations at 134k, though August numbers were revised 69k higher. The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% from 3.9%. The trade deficit was about in-line with expectations. EURUSD topped at 1.153720 from near 1.1505, USDJPY dipped to 113.74 from over 114.05.
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