Here's why the market would be really surprised by a US jobs surprise


As we look ahead to the day's big event - US labour market data - one analyst thinks the event is becoming boring.

Kit Juckes of Societe Generale says that the volatility of the monthly nonfarm payrolls released, measured by a rolling 36-month standard deviation, is at its lowest level since January 1986.

Analysts are expecting nonfarm payrolls additions to have fallen from 203,000 to 196,000 in December. The average of the last three months is an increase of 193,000, and the three year average is 180,000.


That lack of volatility means that "the market would be very surprised, by a surprise" says Juckes.

While unemployment is currently at seven per cent, Juckes says that "given the poor behaviour of the labour force, the least surprising surprise would be a bigger fall in the unemployment rate" than to anything lower than 6.9 per cent.