Here’s Goldman’s forecast for tomorrow’s big Jobs Report:
We forecast a 200,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls in March, in line with consensus expectations. We view the reasonably solid February gain of 175,000 despite extremely adverse weather conditions as providing some confirmation that the underlying trend growth rate of payrolls remains solid. Key employment indicators looked mixed-to-better in March, and despite the continued cold temperatures, less extreme weather conditions overall should give an additional boost to job gains this month.
We expect that the unemployment rate declined to 6.6% in March (vs. consensus 6.6%). We also expect that hours worked, which tend to show a larger impact from severe weather conditions, will rebound from their February decline. As the flip side of this rebound in hours, we expect a softer +0.1% gain in average hourly earnings (vs. consensus +0.2%) as last month’s unusually large gain–likely driven by weather distortions–partially reverses.