U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose 148k in December, disappointing expectations for a stronger gain. But it follow a revised 252k gain in November (was 228k) and a 211k October increase (revised from 224k). The job market has posted gains since October 2010. The unemployment rate was steady at 4.1% (was 4.095% out to three digits). The labor force edged up 64k after the prior 162k rise (revised from 148k), with household employment up 104k from 71k (revised from 57k). The labor force participation rate steady at 62.7%. Earnings edged increased 0.3% versus 0.1% previously (revised form 0.2%). The workweek was flat at 34.5. For other details, private payrolls increased 146k (ADP was 250k), with the goods producing sector adding 55k and construction 30k. Manufacturing employment increased 25k. Jobs in the service sector were up 91k. The government added 2k. Despite the headline disappointment, this is a pretty solid report
The dollar fell after the NFP miss, though firmer hourly earnings mitigated to a degree. The wider trade deficit weighed on the greenback as well. EURUSD rallied to intra day highs of 1.2083, and USDJPY fell to 113.02 from 113.30. Equity futures remain near session highs, continuing to indicate a green Wall Street open.
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