By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney July 6, 2012: 4:57 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- All eyes are on jobs this week, as economists brace for Friday's June jobs report from the government.
Economists surveyed by CNNMoney expect the monthly report to show the economy added 95,000 jobs in June.
That would be an improvement over the 69,000 jobs added in May, but is still pretty weak and unlikely to make the unemployment rate budge from its current 8.2%.
So far this year, the Labor Department's reports have shown hiring peaked in the winter and then slowed in the spring -- a phenomenon many economists attribute to warmer weather early in the year, and a similar pattern to recent years.
But now that the weather effect has subsided, there is still doubt that hiring has rebounded to levels strong enough to bring the unemployment rate down.
"What's suppressing payroll growth in recent months is what we've seen in previous years," said Michael Gapen, senior U.S. economist with Barclays. "We tend to get a spike in uncertainty from events in Europe and some domestic political concerns in the U.S."
"When we get an increase in general uncertainty, employers tend to postpone investment and hiring decisions," he added.
While the outlook is still somewhat pessimistic, several reports released Thursday gave a sudden glimmer of hope, leading some economists to raise their forecasts for Friday's report.
Fewer companies announced plans to lay off workers and private businesses said they're hiring more people in June. Meanwhile, claims for unemployment benefits fell during the last week of the month.
About 374,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, 14,000 fewer than the week before, the Labor Department reported.
Posted By: Elynor Moss
Friday, July 6th 2012 at 2:43PM
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