FRIDAY'S BIG STORY:
Here come the jobs numbers: The November jobs report could show that employers added 200,000 jobs last month, although there is a broad range of predictions floating around.
Many economists are expecting the figure to come in somewhere between 175,000 and 200,000, while there is some chatter that the figure could do even better than that and reflect a much stronger labor market.
So, it's possible that November's job numbers reach, again, in the the "unexpected" category.
October's figures could have been juiced a bit and a late Thanksgiving could skew the seasonal hiring figures, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said this week.
Whatever the outcome, the figure should provide another look at the effect the 16-day government shutdown in October had on hiring.
So far, it looks like businesses largely ignored the shutdown and hired as needed, especially heading into the long holiday buying season.
"The government shutdown doesn’t appear to have done any meaningful damage to the job market,” Zandi said.
Still, the warnings are coming in to Washington to stop the policy hiccups and provide a smooth economic platform for growth.
"I do think the brinkmanship in Washington is corrosive on hiring and business expansion," Zandi said.
Unemployment is likely to drop back down to 7.2 percent after ticking up to 7.3 percent in October.
But the labor market has faced a steady flow of people who have stopped looking for work, which has helped lower the jobless rate.
On Wednesday, a separate report showed that private-sector employment increased by 215,000 jobs in November, the strongest growth this year.
The jobs report will be the last before the Federal Reserve meets later in the month to determine whether or not the economy is healthy enough to withstand a tapering of stimulus.
Even if the number comes in strong, most economists think that the central bank will still wait until the spring to taper its $85 billion in monthly bond-buying.
WHAT ELSE WE'RE WATCHING
Day in Seoul: Vice President Biden will spend Friday meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, as well as Prime Minister Chung Hong-won in Seoul. He is expected to deliver remarks on the U.S.-Korea partnership and U.S. policy in the Asia-Pacific at Yonsei University.
Biden is wrapping up a six-day trip with stops in China, Japan and South Korea to discuss a broad range of economic and security issues for the region.
Korea recently expressed interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Negotiations are set to start Saturday in Singapore on what many hope will be the final round of talks. Still, there are many complex issues yet to be worked out. In addition, the trade deal faces bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill. A majority in both houses wants U.S. trade negotiators to include currency provisions in any final trade deal but the issue hasn't been broached in any talks.
Personal income-personal spending: The Commerce Department will release October figures that measure income from all sources. The largest component of total income is wages and salaries, which is estimated using payrolls and earnings data from the employment report.
Michigan sentiment: Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan will release its December measure of consumer sentiment.
Consumer credit: The Federal Reserve releases its October measure of consumer debt.
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
— Pelosi softens stance on job aid
— Pelosi: No jobless aid, no deal
— SEC to consider Volcker Rule behind closed doors
— Consumer bureau defends ‘back to basics’ rules
— Senators: Too soon for 'victory lap' on 'too big to fail'
— Farm deal is in sight, says House chairman
— BoehnerJohn BoehnerRyan picks party over country by pushing healthcare bill The Hill's 12:30 Report GOP rushes to vote without knowing full impact of healthcare plan MORE: No budget, farm bill deals yet
— Groups coalesce behind $500B in budget cuts
— ACLU sues housing regulator over eminent domain blockade
— Audit: IRS tax evasion systems need more security
— Conservatives: No TSA tax hike
— Rand PaulRand PaulPaul: Pence should oversee Senate ObamaCare repeal votes Healthcare fight pits Trump against Club for Growth GOP rep: Trump could be 'one-term president' if healthcare bill passes MORE pushes tax cuts for Detroit
— Jobless claims drop to nearly a 7-year low
— Debate grows over fast food wages
—Fortune 500 companies return to cities
— US economy expands at 3.6 percent rate on pick-up in inventories
— Treasury chief confident 'too big to fail' will end
— Md.'s Democratic power players leading push against cuts to federal workers
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