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The first jobs report of 2017 is nearly upon us.

Via Bloomberg, here’s what Wall Street is expecting when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its report at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday:

  • Nonfarm payrolls: +175,000 (+156,000 prior)
  • Unemployment rate: 4.7% (4.7% prior)
  • Average hourly earnings month-on-month: +0.3% (0.4% prior)
  • Average hourly earnings year-on-year: +2.8% (2.8% prior)
  • Average weekly hours worked: 34.3 (34.3 prior)
  • Change in manufacturing payrolls: 5,000 (17,000 prior)

Most analysts are gearing up for a solid jobs report, with consensus expectations for nonfarm payrolls to increase by about 175,000. However, some folks think the report could surprise on the upside.

“Data in the past week, however, have introduced some upside risk and thus another 200k+ payroll print cannot be excluded,” wrote a TD Securities US strategy team led by Michael Hanson, chief of US macro strategy, in a note to clients.

small business optimismNotably, the ADP reading on the growth of private payrolls spiked by 246,000 on Wednesday, far above economists’ expectations of 168,000, and the ISM employment index ticked up by 3.3 to 56.1. Moreover, business sentiment has been improving since the US presidential election — although, this has been at least partially due to companies’ expectations for the economy going forward.

“Every business survey released since the election that we’re aware of has been much stronger, including rising hiring plans. Fewer people being fired and businesses potentially starting to increase new hires point to better net job growth,” Morgan Stanley economist Ted Wieserman, whose team now sees nonfarm payrolls to rise by 220,000, wrote in a note to clients.

“Support probably came from favorable January weather (especially compared to some brutal winters in recent years) and fewer retail firings after there was a smaller ramp-up in temporary retail hiring for the holiday shopping season.”

On the wages front, Capital Economics’ Andrew Hunter argued in a note that “base effects mean that the annual growth rate of average hourly earnings probably edged down to 2.8%, from 2.9%.” But, he continued, “that is likely to be only a temporary blip, with wage growth generally trending higher this year.”


Going into the jobs report, it’s also worth taking a look at which sectors are actually hiring.

The most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed that there were 5.522 million job openings in November. Notably, 68% of those jobs are in five industries: health care, professional services, retail, hospitality and food services, and government, according to data cited by Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor.

“It’s worth noting that America’s much-debated manufacturing sector is one of the smallest job producers in the nation right now,” he added. “Although the US manufacturing sector is massively productive and accounts for 11.8% of the nation’s output, there are only about 185,000 job openings for durable goods manufacturing today—the sector that includes most hard-working automobile and machine-building jobs that feature prominently in national political debates. That amounts to just 3% of today’s job openings.”

Additionally, the “non-durable” manufacturing job openings (aka jobs like making pre-packaged food or paper products) make up about 3% of the total. And mining and logging account for about 0.3% of job openings, according to Chamberlain.

In any case, stay tuned for Friday’s jobs report, which crosses the wires at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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