The bar is low for the April jobs report.
The government’s monthly employment report is expected to show improvement over March but still deliver a fairly weak picture of job growth when it is released Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect to see 145,000 nonfarm payrolls added in April, and the unemployment rate steady at 7.6 percent, after March’s disappointing 88,000 payrolls, according to Thomson Reuters.
But markets are already looking for a lower number, and traders say whisper numbers range anywhere from 110,000 to 130,000. Some of the issues are seasonal, and some may be weather-related due to the cold, snowy spring. But there should also be impact from government budget cuts, and a big factor is expected to be the reluctance of employers to hire in a slowing economy.
“I think April should be better than March, but 150,000 is roughly where we think things are going to be,” said Goldman Sachs Chief U.S. economist Jan Hatzius. “The economy isn’t growing that fast.” Hatzius expects to see that level of job growth for several months before the economy picks up.
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