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MNI BRIEF: Fed Eyeing Jobs Data To Gauge Recovery Strength


Strong jobs growth expected in April, but unlikely to steer Fed from current course of action.

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All eyes at the Federal Reserve will be on the U.S. employment report later Friday, with the latest MNI Reality Check suggesting a further million jobs were added to non-farm payrolls in April as the post-pandemic reopening continues, a number in line with Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic's thinking.

However, Bostic said that number is still far from convincing him to start talking about tapering and he would need to see a number nearer 6 million to start considering any slowing of bon purchases.

Not all agree with that outlook, however, with Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan saying recently that the current labor market is "tighter than some may assume". He said the headline unemployment rate could dip below 4% later this year and that the tapering debate needs to start soon. At the post-policy meeting press conference last week, Fed Chair Jay Powell said the Fed is set to go longer with its easing policy, despite potential side issues, ensuring a full post-covid employment recovery.

The April jobs data will be released at 0830ET Friday, with expectations for job gains in the region of 1 million, with at least one forecast of gains nearer 2 million.