NFP Preview: November 2021

Market Analysis /
Milan Cutkovic

The upcoming NFP release comes only two days after the FOMC meeting. While the U.S. central bank did announce that it will begin the process of tapering its balance sheet, it sounded far less hawkish than the market was expecting. Fed Chair Powell made it clear that the end of tapering by mid next year does not guarantee that rate hikes will follow immediately. The Fed sees inflationary pressures as temporary and emphasized that the job market hasn´t yet reached its full potential.

It’s that last bit of information that will make today´s employment figures particularly important. Inflation fears continue to linger, but now it is clear that the central bank is more focused on the recovery of the job market.


Key data points:

Before we consider the expectations for the impending jobs data release, let’s look at some leading indicators from this week. While these should not be used to predict the NFP number, they are useful and closely watched by traders.

  • ISM Manufacturing Employment came in at 52.0 vs 50.2 previous
  • ISM Non-Manufacturing Employment came in at 51.6 vs 53.0 previous
  • ADP Nonfarm Employment Change came in 571k vs 400k expected
  • Initial Jobless Claims came in at 269k vs 275k expected

Overall, those are solid numbers and indicate that the NFP figure could beat expectations today.



  • Nonfarm Payrolls: The market is expecting a 450,000 print. The previous NFP figure came in at 194k – well below expectations
  • Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate is expected to decline from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent
  • Average Hourly Earnings: Market participants are anticipating a 0.4 percent increase in average hourly earnings (month-to-month)


Impact on markets:

The previous two NFPs were disappointing, but ADP and ISM figures from this week are hinting at a solid print today. The NFP number is likely to exceed expectations slightly, with a print above 500k possible. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is likely to arrive in line with expectations at 4.7%.

A better-than-expected NFP print would help the U.S. Dollar regain some momentum, as the FOMC meeting did not prove to be the bullish catalyst Dollar bulls were hoping for. In FX, the main currency pair to watch would be GBP/USD. The Bank of England surprised traders today by not hiking rates at all and the pressure on the Pound is likely to increase further as traders have been aggressively pricing in rate hikes in 2022.

GBP/USD has already declined quite notably, but the Daily RSI suggests there is more room to the downside, with 1.3412 the next immediate bear target. A break below this level would pave the way for a continuation of the correction towards 1.3170 (38.2% Fibonacci of the April 2020-May 2021 rally), followed by the psychological support level at 1.30.

Meanwhile, a disappointing figure (below 250k) could lead to a temporary pause in the Dollar rally. Risk appetite remains high, and traders might want to keep an eye on AUD/USD. The currency pair should find strong support at 0.7315 and a weak NFP print could give it a boost to retest the recent high at 0.7555.

Meanwhile, stock traders don´t appear to be overly worried about inflation and rising rates. Weak employment data would only add to that bullish sentiment and pave the way for new record highs in the U.S. stock market, despite technical indicators already signaling overbought conditions. The USTECH index remains a popular choice in this current environment.

The information is not to be construed as a recommendation; or an offer to buy or sell; or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, financial product, or instrument; or to participate in any trading strategy. Readers should seek their own advice. Reproduction or redistribution of this information is not permitted.

Milan Cutkovic

Milan Cutkovic

Milan Cutkovic has over eight years of experience in trading and market analysis across forex, indices, commodities, and stocks. He was one of the first traders accepted into the Axi Select program which identifies highly talented traders and assists them with professional development.

As well as being a trader, Milan writes daily analysis for the Axi community, using his extensive knowledge of financial markets to provide unique insights and commentary. He is passionate about helping others become more successful in their trading and shares his skills by contributing to comprehensive trading eBooks and regularly publishing educational articles on the Axi blog, His work is frequently quoted in leading international newspapers and media portals.

Milan is frequently quoted and mentioned in many financial publications, including Yahoo Finance, Business Insider, Barrons, CNN, Reuters, New York Post, and MarketWatch.

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