The Labor Department releases its much anticipated April employment report Friday morning, with economists hoping for a snap-back from a weak March number and two key reports this week raising doubts
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on both employment and unemployment Friday, coming off a sub-par 126,000 jobs added in March thanks in part to a winter hangover. Monthly hiring exceeded 200,000 for much of 2014, about where most mainstream economists expect Friday’s number.
On Wednesday, a private-sector gauge of employment raised concerns. The ADP National Employment Report, which measures private payrolls, projected 169,000 hires in April. Then on Thursday, the job outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas issued its monthly jobs cut report, which showed 61,582 workforce reductions for the month.
April’s numbers were 53 percent higher than a month earlier and the highest April number since 2009 amid the Great Recession.
Another reason for concern about the monthly jobs report from the government is the widening trade deficit brought by a strong U.S. dollar that’s crimping exports. As exports fall, imports subtract from broader U.S. economic growth. As a result, many economists suspect revised growth figures due on May 29 will show the economy shrank between January and March.
The first estimate from the Commerce Department last month showed anemic 0.2 percent growth during the quarter for the U.S. economy.