Non-Farm Payroll Numbers No April’s Fools Joke - significantly beat expectations for the month of March


Non-farm payroll numbers for the month of March were 216,000 new jobs, well above expectations of 190,000 new jobs.  The prior month was revised upwards from 192,000 to 194,000, again an improving trend.  While these numbers certainly reflect a more positive tone, we still need jobs in the 300,000 territory to firm up other parts of the economy, such as housing.  The unemployment rate moved from 8.9% in February to 8.8%, which has been a dramatic improvement over the last three month time frame.  The ADP report for the month of March also reflected an improving trend in the job outlook as 201,000 new jobs were reported for the private sector.  Investment bulls will be encouraged by the overall direction of these numbers, which supports a more favorable outlook for stock markets going forward.  Bond investors on the other hand will view these numbers in a more bearish way as signs of higher interest rates may be approaching a lot faster than had been expected.

Robert Floyd, CFA, is Lead Manager for BirchLeaf Investments (