American NonFarms know how to surprise. As a rule, one of the components of key data on the labor market is out of the general rut of forecast levels and underlines the ambiguity of the situation. For example, a month ago, amid a record increase in the number of employed, the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to four percent. Today, the opposite is true. With the unemployment rate falling to 3.8% (with a forecast of 3.9%), the growth rate of employment in the non-agricultural sector fell to a record-low value of 20 thousand (while the growth forecast was 185 thousand), in the private sector economy, up to 25 thousand (with the forecast of 187 thousand) and in the manufacturing sector, up to 4 thousand (forecast of 10 thousand).
This turn of events discouraged traders since the rest of the labor market indicators turned out to be better than expected. We are not talking only about the level of unemployment, which actually returned to its minimum values. The most important inflation indicator — the level of average hourly wages — turned out to be much better than expectations, rising to 0.4% in monthly terms and to 3.4% in annual terms (exceeding the two-year maximum).
But still, such a low increase in the number of employees spoiled the whole positive picture. What is the reason for such an abnormally low result? There are several versions of this. According to one of them, we are dealing with a seasonal correction, since January showed atypically high results, which almost doubled the forecast values.
Another reason (which does not exclude the first version) is a large-scale teachers' strike in the States, which influenced the statistics. The fact is that the statistical mechanics of the United States in its own way "understands" numerous strikes. For the US Department of Labor, all the strikers were formally "fired". I will not go into the details of calculating and counting of employed and unemployed Americans (this is a separate topic). In our case, it is worth noting that the data for February does not fully reflect the situation with the number of new jobs. The data from the ADP agency (which showed an increase of 183 thousand jobs) is probably closer to the truth since they have a slightly different system of selection and counting.
By the way, this situation does not arise for the first time. In the spring of 2016, due to the large-scale strike of Verizon employees, the real picture of the increase in employment was also distorted. Then official reports showed that the American economy managed to create only 38 thousand jobs. Even the most ardent pessimists among experts could not foresee such a pitiful result. Naturally, a dispute immediately arose among analysts. Are these data evidence of a slowdown in the US labor market, or is this all the same major force? For the most part, traders "did not believe" such data, taking into account the specifics of the American methods of keeping records of the unemployed and the newly employed.
In other words, a large-scale strike of teachers, in which about 50 thousand people took part, could have influenced NonFarm, distorting the real picture. If this is so, then the March data on the labor market (which will be published, respectively, in April) should surpass even the most optimistic forecasts, confirming the major force of today's indicators. Otherwise, we will already deal with a negative trend in this area, and this fact will already have a significant impact on the dollar.
In the meantime, the bulls of the EUR / USD pair have received a formal reason for corrective growth. Sellers failed to gain a foothold yesterday within the 11th figure, so the price was able to return a step higher. True, we cannot speak about any large-scale recovery. If we exclude the 20,000th increase in employment, the US labor market has shown quite strong results that can support the US currency in the long term, especially if inflationary indicators also begin to recover. The increase in wages in this context plays a large role, as it is an early signal of inflationary growth.
In general, the growth of the EUR / USD pair (including correctional) in the near future can only be due to the weakness of the dollar since the single currency will "depart" for a long time from the March meeting of the ECB. Mario Draghi rather sharply reoriented the market relative to the intentions of the regulator, and this fact will put at least background pressure on the euro.
Now, a few words about technology. Despite the correctional growth, the pair shows a downward direction, being on the daily chart between the middle and lower lines of the Bollinger Bands indicator, which is in a narrowed channel. The strength of the southern movement is also confirmed by the bear signal "Parade of lines" of the indicator Ichimoku Kinko Hyo, in which all its lines are above the price chart. The support and resistance levels are the lower and upper lines of the Bollinger Bands indicator, which correspond to 1.1210 and 1.1315 marks.