Home » NFP Preview: Forecasts from 10 major banks, employment continues to rise strongly

NFP Preview: Forecasts from 10 major banks, employment continues to rise strongly

by FX BrokerNews

The upcoming February jobs report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is scheduled for release on Friday, March 8, at 13:30 GMT. As the release time approaches, here are the predictions from economists and researchers at 10 major banks regarding the forthcoming employment data.

Projections indicate an anticipated growth of 200K in Nonfarm Payrolls, following the robust increase of 353K recorded in January. Concurrently, the forecast for Average Hourly Earnings suggests a slowdown to 4.3%, compared to the 4.5% reported in January. The Unemployment Rate is expected to remain constant at 3.7%.


Despite elevated interest rates, there remains robust demand for labor. Simultaneously, the recent uptick in immigration is ensuring a steady influx of applicants into the market, facilitating the fulfillment of available job positions. Monthly employment growth is no longer showing signs of decline. Consequently, we anticipate a job growth of 200K for February, accompanied by an unchanged low unemployment rate of 3.7%.

Deutsche Bank

We anticipate a moderation in payroll gains to reach around 225K. Additionally, we expect month-over-month increases in hourly earnings to decelerate to 0.2%, with the unemployment rate remaining stable at 3.7%.

Danske Bank

Anticipating a slowdown, we expect Nonfarm Payroll (NFP) growth to reach 180K, while average hourly earnings are projected to settle at 0.2% month-over-month following the unexpectedly robust January report.


We anticipate a moderation in job gains for February NFP, projecting around 190K after the surprising upside in January. Volatility in the household survey is likely to result in a decrease in the unemployment rate to 3.6%, while wage growth is expected to ease to 0.1% month-over-month following the strong print in January.

RBC Economics

Anticipating robust employment figures, we project that the February Nonfarm Payroll (NFP) report will reveal a solid gain of 260K jobs. The primary contributors to this growth are expected to be the leisure and hospitality, health care, and government sectors. Concurrently, we anticipate the unemploym


Potential hiring deceleration in the month might have occurred, given indications from soft indicators like S&P Global’s Composite PMI. However, this could have been counteracted by a reduction in the number of layoffs, as implied by the decrease in initial jobless claims between the January and February reference periods. With these opposing trends balancing each other, job creation may have sustained strength at 190K. Despite a potential larger gain in the


We forecast a gain of 200K and a rise in average earnings of 0.3%.

Wells Fargo

The momentum in hiring continues to be robust, and we project a payroll increase of 195K in February, slightly surpassing the existing consensus. Additionally, we expect the unemployment rate to remain steady at 3.7%, and average hourly earnings to moderate to 0.2% during the month as supply and demand for workers normalize.


Anticipating another robust release, we project that the February payroll report will reflect a gain of 220K jobs, accompanied by a rebound in average hours worked to 34.3. The inclement weather during the reference week of the last month’s survey is expected to be a contributing factor. Recent months have witnessed broad-based hiring, and we anticipate this trend to persist in February. Our expectation is that the health care and government sectors will contribute to 60% of job gains, while the remaining 40% will come from other sectors more influenced by cyclical patterns. The unemployment rate and participation rate are foreseen to stay unchanged at 3.7% and 62.5%, respectively, for the month.

The pivotal aspect to monitor in the payroll report, once again, will be the revisions. Given the recent size and volatility of revisions, there appears to be an equal likelihood of either solidifying or nullifying the recent portrayal of the labor market.


We anticipate a modest increase of 145K in the Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP). December and January figures were likely influenced by outdated seasonal adjustment factors, which positively countered non-seasonally adjusted declines in both months. However, seasonal factors from February to June are expected to result in a downward adjustment to payroll growth, contributing to a continuing downward employment trend in the upcoming months, typically a period of hiring acceleration. In February, we expect Average Hourly Earnings to increase by 0.4% month-over-month, following a robust 0.6% rise in January. This still represents a substantial growth in wage rates, with average hourly earnings up by 4.6% from a year ago.

Despite a potential rebound in aggregate hours worked in February, which may lead to softer average hourly earnings, market interest will be particularly focused on the trend of average hours worked. In January, average hours worked reached a low of 34.1 hours per week, although this level likely reflects some weather and seasonal adjustment issues. The unemployment rate is projected to rebound to 3.8% in February from January’s 3.7%, with the potential for it to remain at 3.7% if the participation rate remains subdued.

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