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- The miss on the headline NFP (+235k vs. Exp. +733k) barely countered by stronger revisions to the prior (+943k revised up to +1053k).
- Notably, the employment-population ratio was little changed at 58.5% (Prior was 58.4%), which may show stalling momentum in the jobs market recovery. This, twinned with a broadly flat participation rate could be a focus for the FOMC at upcoming meetings.
- The leisure and hospitality sector was a point of weakness. The sector has been a solid driver of recent job gains, but came in broadly unchanged this month (had averaged +350,000 over the past six months).
- Food services and drinking places also saw weakness (shedding 42,000 jobs) as well as a notable slowdown in pace of retail trade job gains, with employment dropping 29k over the period.
- The data will likely lessen pressure on the FOMC to conduct a near-term taper, reinforcing the need for a modest and slow approach to unwinding asset purchases.
- Markets have reacted suitably, with USD weaker initially, while Treasury yields slipped before rallying back to unchanged.