OVERNIGHT FINANCE: April jobs growth looking up

FRIDAY'S BIG STORY: 

April jobs report time: The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release April jobs figures on Friday with estimates coming in anywhere between 210,000 and 235,000.

Looking around at various estimates there are some expectations that jobs growth will fall under the 192,000 created in March although most economists have a brighter outlook as the economy emerges from a long cold winter.

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If those figures bear out, that would take us back near the levels of last fall when the economy appeared to have a head of steam before running headlong into the big bad winter that slowed jobs growth and stymied the broader expansion. 

Private-sector employers ramped up hiring in April as businesses added 220,000 jobs, according to a separate report released Wednesday by ADP.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said the Labor Department's report could come in right around the ADP figure or show the addition of a few thousand more jobs, maybe 230,000 to 235,000. 

"We’re due for an upside surprise and I wouldn’t be surprised if we got that on Friday," he said. 

Zandi said jobs growth could push into a 200,000-plus average heading into the warmer months, which should help the broader economy. 

For Zandi, who helps ADP compile their data, all sizes and types of businesses are growing and that is a good sign for a labor market that, while adding jobs consistently for 42 straight months — since October 2010, has still not really accelerated to the speed of growth forecast. 

With a mixed bag of economic numbers this week it is clear that the economy is trying to punch its way out of a long cold winter that slowed economic growth to only 0.1 percent, well below the 2.6 percent annual rate, in the final three months of last year.

But consumers are showing signs of life — spending is on the rise — and a solid jobs report on Friday could give consumers and businesses the boost they need to help grow the economy. 

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Factory Orders: The Commerce Department is releasing data on factory orders for March that consist of the earlier announced durable goods report plus non-durable goods orders. 

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— GOP senators seek legislation on IRS bonuses

— IG: No evidence jobs data was faked

— Hatch presses for Obama's involvement in trade promotion authority

— Schumer presses for currency provisions in Asia-Pacific trade deal

— Issa: Why are SEC employees allowed to buy stock?

— Layoffs rise amid jump in consumer spending, incomes

— Moran: 'We ought to stand up for ourselves' on pay increase

— Yellen: Community banks still needed

— Banks faulted for denying mortgage relief during crisis

— Lawmakers push bill to stop IRS bonuses

— Spring brings thaw in debate over changes to Dodd-Frank law

— Senators fear Russia could leave astronauts stranded in space

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