Friday preview: US employment report released

The closely-watched US employment report for March will be released Friday, a day after data showed a rise in the number of Americans seeking jobless claims last week.

The closely-watched US employment report for March will be released Friday, a day after data showed a rise in the number of Americans seeking jobless claims last week.

Applications for unemployment aid climbed more than expected in the week ended March 30th, according to the Labor Department on Wednesday.

Weekly applications increased 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the third straight weekly jump and the highest level in four months. The four-week average rose to 354,250.

The Labor Department said Easter has historically been a difficult time of the year to seasonally adjust because of the shifting holiday calendar. Economists had warned the data could be volatile ahead of the results.

Analysts said the recent increases may be because companies are slashing jobs due to deep government spending cuts.

Nevertheless, job growth has picked up in recent months with employers adding an average of 200,000 jobs per month from November through February.

Improvements in other areas including consumer spending and a steady housing recovery could have helped to spur more hiring.

But while hiring is picking up, it is not strong enough to boost the entire labour market, some have warned.

Against this backdrop, consensus estimates are for a 199,000 increase in non-farm payrolls in March, well below the 236,000 surge in February. Meanwhile, the jobless rate is expected to stay at 7.7% following an unexpected drop the month before.

Friday April 5th

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Gleeson (M J) Group

QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Verizon Communications

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Balance of Trade (US) (13:30)

Consumer Credit (US) (20:00)

GDP (2nd release) (EU) (10:00)

Non-Farm Payrolls (US) (13:30)

PMI Construction (GER) (08:55)

Retail Sales (EU) (10:00)

Unemployment Rate (US) (13:30)

GMS

Concha, Henderson Fledgling Trust

ANNUAL REPORT

Mediterranean Oil & Gas, Menzies(John)

AGMS

OJSC LSR Group GDR (Reg S)

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

New Car Registrations (09:30)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

MTI Wireless Edge Ltd.

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