Will Friday Confirm or Reverse March Unemployment Figures?

Given the relative weakness of Q1 GDP along with the more dovish tone of the Fed, any chance of a rate increase in the near future is pretty much dead. Earlier this year, many speculated the Fed would move sooner rather than later with some saying a bump in the Fed Funds rate at the end of Juneapril unemployment numbers looks likely. That no longer looks to be the case but we might be able to peer further into our economic health this Friday.

The Unemployment Report along with the number of non-farm payroll jobs produced is typically released on the first business Friday of each month yet as the first also fell on that same Friday the reports will be delayed until this week. You recall that job growth for March was a tad on the tepid side with only 129,000 new jobs created. Consider there were 22 business days in March and the number appears even softer. A number closer to 250,000 was the likely result but March missed its number by nearly half.

When such economic anomalies occur, sometimes the count is made up in the following month’s report. In other words, if indeed there was some sort of a miscount the mistake would be made up in the April numbers. If that happens, mortgage rates and financing costs in general will again be on the rise. Yet if another soft number comes in, interest rates should track lower for the foreseeable future. And maybe investors will be again talking about a rate increase in June. Of next year.