The Bureau of Labor Statistics normally issues its monthly Employment Situation Report on the first Friday of the month, but in honor of Independence Day it's being pushed forward to a Thursday this week.
The economic news so far in 2014 has been a bit weird. The initial estimate of GDP growth in the first quarter was bad, and after revisions it came to look downright terrible — as best we can tell, economic output shrank at a 2.9 percent annualized rate in the first three months. And yet despite that awful news, most economists are downright complacent about the state of things. One reason is that though job growth in the first five months of the year hasn't been stellar, it's been at a bit of a faster pace than what we saw in 2013 or 2012.
Meanwhile, other important indicators like auto sales and credit growth have been strong.
So broadly speaking, most people are expecting pretty good news to continue. Reuters' poll of economists found that they're expecting non-farm payrolls to grow by 212,000 which would be the fifth straight month of above-200k job increases. If that happens, people will continue to shrug off the Q1 GDP number and just wait to see what happens in the second quarter. But given the bad GDP news, if the jobs number disappoints — or if we see negative revisions to previous months' data — today's complacency could easily turn into tomorrow's panic.