Job market may be improving: Report

A closely watched report on job creation predicts that the private sector created 176,000 jobs in June.

This is not a prediction of non-farm payrolls, which is what concerns the BLS, but rather reports from the field about hiring in private industry.


U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in June and the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits last week fell by the most in two months, hopeful signs for the struggling labor market.

Employers outside government added 176,000 new workers to their payrolls last month, the ADP National Employment Report showed on Thursday, after increasing 136,000 in May.

The government will release its closely watched employment report for June on Friday. While ADP has a poor track record of predicting nonfarm payrolls, it was a welcome sign for the labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 374,000, the Labor Department said. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 1,500 to 385,750.

"Jobless claims are a move in the right direction. The drop, combined with the ADP report earlier, suggests the jobs market is not as weak as recent data has suggested," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.

Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have increased 90,000 in June, according to a Reuters survey, after May's 69,000 gain.

The unemployment rate is seen steady at 8.2 percent after rising in May for the first time since August.

Job growth has weakened in recent months amid a cloud of uncertainty, spawned by the European debt crisis and fears of tax increases at home next year.

Ninety thousands jobs is still nothing to write home about. But the underlying trend, which is what many economists look for, appears to be headed upward.

There are only three more jobs reports before the election after tomorrow's publication by the BLS.