On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for March. The consensus is for 240,000 jobs added, and for the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 3.6%.
There were 311,000 jobs added in February, and the unemployment rate was at 3.6%.
• ISM Surveys: Note that the ISM services are diffusion indexes based on the number of firms hiring (not the number of hires). The ISM® manufacturing employment index decreased in March to 46.9%, down from 49.1% last month. This would suggest about 35,000 jobs lost in manufacturing. The ADP report indicated 30,000 manufacturing jobs lost in March.
The ISM® services employment index decreased in March to 51.3%, from 54.0% last month. This would suggest service employment increased 110,000 in March.
Combined, the ISM surveys suggest 75,000 jobs added in March (well below the consensus forecast).
• Unemployment Claims: The weekly claims report showed an increase in the number of initial unemployment claims during the reference week (includes the 12th of the month) from 217,000 in February to 247,000 in March. This would usually suggest more layoffs in March than in February.