Payroll Derivative Contracts to Launch

March 11, 2008 ( - If you're looking to hedge your bets, or your exposures, vis-à-vis the nation's monthly unemployment report, you have a new option - literally.

Derivatives exchange CME Group says that futures and options on futures on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Nonfarm Payroll data are scheduled to launch Sunday, April 27, 2008, in anticipation of the Friday, May 2, release of the April economic data.

According to a press release, the contracts, based on the monthly BLS Establishment Survey of 375,000 businesses that is usually released on the first Friday of each month, will allow customers to directly manage their exposure to the government labor number or to offset positions in financial markets. The Nonfarm Payroll report is typically the first major economic release of each month and speaks to the condition of employment from the prior month.

“There is a strong correlation between the Nonfarm Payroll report and CME Group financial futures contracts as well as other financial instruments,” said Rick Redding, CME Group Managing Director of Products and Services, in an announcement. “Listed futures and options on futures on the Nonfarm Payroll are a transparent, straightforward and accessible way for our customers to offset unexpected financial market moves that often occur when this number comes out.”

The Nonfarm Payroll contracts will be listed exclusively on the CME Globex electronic trading platform, Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Chicago time. One contract will be listed at a time and each contract will be listed on the Monday after the previous month’s release. Trading in the expiring contract concludes at 7:25 a.m. on the day that the BLS releases its Nonfarm Payroll report. Each contract is valued at $25 times the change in the Nonfarm Payroll number from the previous month.

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