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U.S. Jobs Report Could Dispel Economic Haze

MarketWatch (09/01/13) Jeffrey Bartash

The monthly U.S. jobs report will take on extra gravity this week after a bevy of signs implying that economic growth has throttled back. If the net rise in new jobs in August nearly equals or exceeds 192,000—the monthly average in 2013—observers will view it as evidence that the economy continues to expand at a 2% clip. An increase in hiring of that size could spur the U.S. Federal Reserve to scale back its massive economic-stimulus program starting later in September. A disappointing report, however, could keep the Fed on hold. The most probable outcome is another increase in the 150,000 to 200,000 range. Economists polled by MarketWatch project a 165,000 bump, up a touch from a preliminary 162,000 increase in July.