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News & Analysis

Preview: Non-Farm Payroll Announcement

7 January 2021


By Klavs Valters

It’s a new month and a new year – which means the latest Non-Farm Payroll figures will be released this week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest US jobs data will be released at 1:30 PM London time on Friday. It has been a turbulent week in the United States with a riot causing havoc in Washington D.C. This will be the last jobs report during President Donald Trump’s era with President-Elect Joe Biden set to be inaugurated on the 20th of January.

Why is the announcement important?

Non-Farm Payroll is one of the most closely watched indicators. It is considered the most wide-ranging measure of job creation in the United States. An increase in the non-farm payrolls would suggest rising employment and potential inflation pressure – which would mean a possible rate increase by the Federal Reserve. A decline would indicate a slowing economy – which would mean a possible interest rate cut. The measure accounts for around 80% of the workers who contribute to the Gross Domestic Product. It does not include those who work on farms and also excludes private households, non-profit workers, and government employees.


In November, the total Non-Farm payroll employment increased by 245k, lower than analyst predictions of 481k. The unemployment rate declined to 6.7% from 6.9%, as per forecast. Most significant job gains were in transportation and warehousing, professional and business services, and health care. Employment declined in government and retail trade.

Analysts are expecting 71k jobs added in December. The unemployment rate is expected to rise by 0.1% to 6.8%.

Non-Farm Payroll numbers in 2020

November: 245k

October: 638k

September: 661k

August: 1,371k

July: 1,763k

June: 4,800k

May: 2,509k

April: -20,500k

March: -701k

February: 273k

January: 225k

The unemployment rates in 2020

November: 6.7%

October: 6.9%

September: 7.9%

August: 8.4%

July: 10.2%

June: 11.1%

May: 13.3%

April: 14.7%

March: 4.4%

February: 3.5%

January: 3.6%

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

All eyes on the first US jobs report of 2021.

By Klavs Valters

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