U.S. hiring likely snapped back from a three-year low in January and kept the unemployment rate steady at 6.7 percent, which could ease investors’ fears the economy is slowing sharply.
Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have increased by 185,000 last month, according to Reuters’ poll of economists, after unseasonably cold weather in December limited gains to 74,000.
“The anticipated acceleration in job growth reflects in part the unwinding of the weather-induced weakness last month, and is consistent with other indicators which are pointing to continued positive momentum in the economy,” said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York.
The U.S. Labor Department will release its closely watched employment report on Friday at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT).
A report on Monday showing a surprise drop in factory activity to an eight-month low in January rattled investors and stoked fears of a significant cooling off in growth after the economy’s robust performance in the second half of 2013.
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