Prepping for the jobs report this Friday …

A couple of data points …

The BLS weekly new unemployment claims averaged 363,000 in March … they’ve been just short of 390,000 the past couple of weeks.

* * * * *

Challenger  reported an increase in job cuts — vs. last month and vs. same month last year.

U.S.-based employers announced planned job cuts totaling 40,559 during the month of April.

That is a 7.1 percent increase from  job cuts announced in March.

April job cuts were up 11.2 percent from the same month a year ago.

So far this year, employers have announced 183,653 job cuts, 9.8 percent more than the job cuts by this point in 2011.

* * * * *

Gallup’s daily tracking of unemployment has been running between 8.3% and 8.4% for the past week or so.

* * * * *

Yesterday, ADP reported that the private sector added just 119,000 jobs in April

Private-sector employment increased by just 119,000 in April, according a report from ADP that puts a dent into the notion that the jobs market is on the path to a solid recovery.

The report was well below forecasts of 170,000 and comes after a string of stronger numbers.

ADP said service-sector jobs rose by 123,000, but construction fell by 5,000

* * * * *

Let’s see: unemployment claims are up, Gallup says 8.4%, ADP reports a slowing of job growth (below what’s need to keep pace with typical labor market growth).

So, what’ll be the BLS unemployment number?

My bet: the mysterious seasonal adjustments coupled with more discouraged workers no longer looking for work will keep the unemployment rate at 8.2%

We’ll see.

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