Many investors in the foreign-exchange (FOREX) market trade at or near the time of the publication of the US Non-Farm Pay-Roll Report (NFP). They are attracted by the volatility of the currency – especially the major pairs involving the US dollar – which occur at that time. Investors are referred to as news traders depending on this and other financial news events for their trading activity. Many others, perhaps, are sure to include NFP in their trading calendars when using other trading methods. Let’s find out why so many businesses are interested in this report.
The NFP comes out once a month, usually on the first Friday at 8:30 a.m. New York time. On occasion, it will come out on the second Friday of the month instead of the first, but always at the same time of day. The U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for compiling and publishing the report, which is kept secret until the official release date. The report contains data on unemployment in the non-agricultural sector of the US economy. Incidentally, other industrialized nations also show some similarities to such reports. Simply put, if the numbers published in the NFP represent a major correction to earlier estimates, the market reaction may be quite pronounced.
The expected NFP data response from traders around the world in terms of buying and selling activity, in general, may increase or decrease the value of the US dollar. This usually happens at the moment the report is published. Sometimes, the spike occurs very early, that is, within 8:30 am just minutes before the release. Although less frequent, it has also been observed that spikes can occur up to 15 or 20 minutes after the report is published.
Other regular financial reports may also change the price of the currency, but their results are not as dramatic or dynamic as the NFP. Over the past few years, the NFP has resulted in the movement of the US dollar price in a general direction, usually between 50 and 90 pip. Re-traceability, that is, a return to the original price, often provides additional trading opportunities. From this one report alone, many traders are experiencing returns of 5 to 20 percent.
Why has the NFP been able to move the market? The NFP is published by the U.S. government as an official statement of what the U.S. economy is doing. Based on the content of the report, the health of the country is measured in terms of its employment situation. Many scholars and businessmen similarly see the employment situation of a country as a major indicator of how it is doing economically with that country. If the employment situation is bad, then its general economy must be. A weak economy always gives bad news for the currency of that particular country.
One must acknowledge and appreciate that the US dollar has always generated a lot of interest among traders around the world. Known for its liquidity, relative stability, and supported by the world’s largest economy (at least until China ranks number one as expected in 2026), the greenback is often accepted as a payment for goods and services around the world. This is true even if it is not official currency in a given jurisdiction. It is one of the few relative currencies known as “hard currency” in the global financial field. It is always in the spotlight as a global player.
The US dollar has been weakening against other currencies in recent times. Undoubtedly, global events, including the US involvement in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, have divided some people’s pale views about the value of the dollar. On the other hand, some see it as a good opportunity for small and large U.S. corporations to export goods and services to other countries. This could lead to a rebound in the dollar in the long run.
Various strategies have been devised to take advantage of the trend of rising market prices during NFP news releases. As one might expect, some strategies work better than others. More and more vendors and programmers are developing and selling automated software to businesses interested in the fast-paced environment surrounding NFP Release. The price range for this type of software can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Of course, manual NFP trading can still be done successfully as many traders are proving. Regardless of the method or strategy, many in the trading world will continue to pay attention to the NFP and use its release as one of the greatest regular and recurring opportunities to trade in the Forex market.