July 3 - Encouraging data from several reports have market watchers optimistic that Friday's jobs report will continue the trend of slow and steady improvement. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Slow and steady grows the jobs sector. New reports on private payrolls, jobless claims- and hiring in the services sector all pointing to a steadily improving labor market. Rutgers professor Will Rodgers: SOUNDBITE: WILLIAM RODGERS, PROFESSOR AND CHIEF ECONOMIST AT THE HELDRICH CENTER FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We have an economy- or a labor market, that is basically driving on the highway at about 55 miles an hour. You know just steady as you go, not looking to accelerate, not looking to decelerate." The data come just ahead of Friday's monthly report: A Reuters survey of economists forecast nonfarm payrolls up 165,000 in June- higher than the monthly average of the past three months. And the unemployment rate is expected to fall slightly to 7.5 percent. Wells Fargo Chief Economist John Silvia is a little more optimistic: SOUNDBITE: JOHN SILVIA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, WELLS FARGO (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are looking for a number about 180, 185 thousand for the jobs number. Predominantly of course in the service sector but at this point in time we may see small federal government job cuts to maybe 5,000 or so, maybe manufacturing is flat, but generally a lot of other sectors continuing to show nice growth." But if the number comes either too high or too low- the markets will be quick to extrapolate what that could mean for Fed policy- and react swiftly: SOUNDBITE: JOHN SILVIA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, WELLS FARGO (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think if a number comes in less than that maybe 130, 150 somewhere in there, there might be a lot more questions about what the Fed will indeed initiate tapering after September or may delay it till next year. A very strong number you know 200,000 plus would definitely tell the market place and probably the Fed that tapering will begin in September." Silvia adds that the jobs report will also give some early indications about corporate earnings- and how hiring is impacting the economic recovery.