A question has hung over the American economy for the past month: Was the sharp slowdown in job growth in May just another soft patch in a recovery that has set records for its durability? Or was it a warning of more significant trouble?

Friday’s jobs report will help provide the answer.

Economists expect the Labor Department’s monthly report, which will be released at 8:30 a.m., to show that American employers added 170,000 jobs in June. That would be a substantial rebound from the disappointing total of 75,000 in May. (May’s figure will also be revised on Friday.) And it would suggest that the job market remained on solid footing, even if it lost some momentum since last year.

A second straight weak report, however, would spark fresh

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