Good morning from the business desk of the Star Tribune.
The data and the calendar have all aligned to make the first day of the month the day in which the most-watched economic datapoint emerges. It's the Labor Department's jobs report for July and it's coming at 7:30.
June saw an unexpectedly large gain of 288,000 jobs in the U.S., driven mainly by the addition of part-time work. Economists expect the U.S. added 230,000 jobs last month. That's the number to watch. In the tweets ahead, you'll see the acronym NFP, which stands for non-farm payroll, the line on the Labor Department's ledger that holds the benchmark figure.
Today's report has the added drama of coming after yesterday's 2% drop in the U.S. stock market, the biggest one-day plunge since February. The selloff continued around the globe today, with markets in Asia closing in the red and Europe still trading in the red. U.S. futures are also down at the moment. Can the jobs figure arrest the downbeat sentiment and trigger a flurry of dip buying?
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One more data note: the U.S. unemployment rate was 6.1% in June. That's down from 7.5% a year earlier, the fastest one-year decline since October 1984. Economists expect the rate to hold steady at 6.1% for July.