Good News or Bad News: Looking Ahead to Friday's Monthly Employment Report

by: Jim Kingsland

This Friday we will receive one of the most market moving pieces of economic data: The monthly employment report.

The consensus estimate, according to a Barron's survey of economists, is for jobs growth of 100,000 in August - with a range of as low as 35,000 and as high as 150,000.

I'd be willing to bet that the number will come in somewhere closer to consensus if not above. The Fed, it seems, would prefer not see weak data as that would further pressure them to officialy lower the fed funds rate.

Likewise, the Oval Office would prefer to see numbers closer to consensus since the economy is one of the few things that Bush feels he can hang his ten gallon hat on. Even this past Friday he was touting what he saw as overall economic strength during his response to the mortgage crisis.

The unemployment rate, taken from a separate survey, is forecast to creep higher by 0.1, to 4.7%.

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