Economists Haven’t Been This Upbeat About Jobs Since 2010 – Real Time Economics

Each Monday, MoneyBeat publishes a short column in the WSJ print edition highlighting a statistic getting traction in the markets. This week’s “big number“ is 49, the number of months since economists were more upbeat on employment that they are now.

Optimism ahead of this week’s jobs report is at one of the highest levels since the financial crisis.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal predict the economy added 218,000 jobs in June. During the five-year economic recovery, the only time that the consensus estimate was higher was in May 2010, a month in which figures were sharply inflated by the temporary hiring of census workers.

With the June jobs report due Thursday (a day earlier than usual due to the Fourth of July holiday), market watchers are hoping job growth will be able to sustain its recent momentum. The labor market is in the midst of its first four-month stretch of job creation above 200,000 since the late 1990s. And the economy last month put the finishing touches on clawing back all the jobs lost since the recession hit in 2007.

The jobs report is set to come after a week of disappointing economic data. First-quarter GDP figures showed the U.S. economy contracted at 2.9%, a significantly worse pace than previously estimated. Consumer-spending data for May also came in on the light side, suggesting continued struggles in the economy.

“We hope the coming payroll report will help pull some investors away from the ledge,” says Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets.

He expects the labor market produced another month of about 200,000 jobs added. “The firing side of the jobs equation continues to trend lower,” Mr. Porcelli said. “This is enough to keep payroll growth above potential for the time being.



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