A flurry of economic reports gave hope over job growth, ahead of the release Friday of the most closely watched snapshot of the nation’s employment picture.
BY MARTIN CRUTSINGER
WASHINGTON — Fewer people are filing claims for unemployment aid, new jobs are showing up in service industries, and companies are squeezing all they can from lean staffs and may need to hire soon.
Hopes for the job market brightened Thursday ahead of a closely watched report on the nation’s employment picture — although experts cautioned that the economy probably isn’t creating jobs as quickly as usual after a recession.
“While we will see a period of job growth, it is going to take a long time to get back the jobs we lost,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, who predicts the nation will not recover the 8 million jobs lost in the downturn until 2013.
Economists predict the May jobs report, due out Friday morning, will show the nation added 513,000 jobs in May. But most of them, as many as 400,000 by some estimates, will be temporary government jobs to help with the census.
The unemployment rate is expected to fall slightly, to 9.8 percent from 9.9 percent.