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On Eve of Jobs Report, a Shiny Number

ADP says private sector added 201K jobs in August, but it's been wrong before...
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2012 8:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – Teams Obama and Romney will likely be biting their nails come 8:29am tomorrow, as the first of the three remaining pre-election jobs reports are issued. With less than 24 hours to go, some hints of what may come:

  • In what the AP calls an "encouraging sign," a private survey out today shows businesses ramped up hiring in August. Though private-sector jobs were predicted to jump 145,000 last month, the ADP survey noted an increase of 201,000 jobs.

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  • But don't get too excited. The Wall Street Journal offers a sobering reminder that ADP has had some huge swings-and-misses lately. It estimated a 176,000-job jump in June; the actual private-sector gain was just 84,000. As such, the Journal doubts projections will change.
  • And what are those projections? An unemployment rate still stuck at 8.3%, and the addition of 125,000 new jobs, per economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires. (The AP puts the forecast at 135,000 jobs, same rate.)
  • In other jobless numbers, 12,000 fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a possible indication of a job market on the upswing. The four-week average stands at 371,250; a number consistently below 375,000 suggests hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate, explains the AP, though it predicts this most recent data won't affect the August report.
Click for one take on why tomorrow's numbers have an unmatched political significance. (Read more unemployment stories.)

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