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Everything you need to know before the big Friday jobs report

Expectations are high for the May jobs report, due Friday morning. Economists expect that the economy produced 220,000 new jobs during the month. If that turns out to be the case, May would be the fourth consecutive month that more than 200,000 jobs were produced, something that hasn’t happened since the boom years of the late 1990s. Here are some of the reasons for economists’ optimism.

Weekly jobless claims were low during the survey week

But not as low as they were in April, when 288,000 new jobs were created.

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Survey data suggest the US job market continued expanding in May

Gauges of both manufacturing and services were above the level of 50, which indicates growth.

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On the other hand, ADP estimates that private sector job creation was down

The payroll processor’s estimate of new non-government jobs fell to 179,000 in May from 215,000 in April.

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Online job ads remain strong

That suggests firm demand for labor.

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The Conference Board’s so-called jobs differential is moving in the right direction

The measure is basically the difference between the number of people who said jobs were “hard to get” and those who said jobs were “plentiful” in a monthly survey by the Conference Board. It fell to 18.2 in May from 19.8 in April, suggesting improvement.

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