Barclays Research expects 900k for Friday's NFP print (consensus 600k), and unemployment rate at 5.9% (consensus 6%).
We think several factors justify a strong employment forecast for March. Among the most important are vaccinations and declining COVID case counts, which have led states to ease restrictions. Progress on vaccinations likely helped fuel the pickup in hiring in February, and we suspect that this trend improved further in March," Barclays notes.
"In addition, hiring in sectors outside of leisure and hospitality last month was likely held back by adverse weather. We expect employment in these sectors to rebound in March. Finally, we think reported jobless claims may understate the actual improvement in labor market conditions during the survey period, partly because the further extension of federal unemployment benefits may have contributed to some misclassification of new applicants," Barclays adds.