Why Jobs Data Are the 'Heartbeat of Capitalism'

Investors across the world are focused on Friday's nonfarm payroll data. But does the data give you a picture of what's on the horizon as well as what happened last month?

"Payrolls is the most important number in the world, okay? Let's get this straight," David Bloom, the global head foreign exchange strategy at HSBC, told CNBC. "It's not a backward-looking number, it's a coincidental number."

"Now when you go to a doctor, he might want to know your history. How you've been, your past," Bloom said. "He might have a prognosis for the future. But what he does is he takes your pulse. And you pulse tells you how are you now. And the heartbeat of capitalism will beat today and we will find out what is the heartbeat, what is the pulse, how is the economy now."

"The unemployment rate is a completely different survey," he said. "It's got nothing to do with the payroll numbers. You're getting the payroll number which is a firm-based survey where they write into the company and ask how many did you hire, how many you didn't."

"The unemployment rate, they phone you at home and ask you 'are you looking for work?' If you are looking for work and haven't got any, then you are unemployed," he explained. "So there's two different numbers and it is such an interesting number. And I'm not surprised it moves the market and it should move the market because it is the most important number in the world."

Opposite to Normal World

Bloom said the knee-jerk reaction to the number will be quite simple.

"I know it's going to sound really strange and it's the opposite of a normal world, (but) if the number is better than expected, the dollar will sell off," he said. "And people will buy back into risky assets and risky products, sell bonds obviously, probably buy equities and buy some of the more risky currencies. And that's exactly the opposite way round to how it was in 2007."

"Now, if the numbers are weaker than expected, you don't look for rate cuts," he said. "You look for some QE extraordinary means, you don’t know what they are, and they have different implications. So really we've lost our grounding and anchor into the economic cycle."