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Jobs Report: What the Experts Expect

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Most economists believe employers broadly shed jobs again in the month of July. But the sour stat will mostly result from continued and expected Census worker layoffs in the government ranks.

So, look for a repeated scene to play out on Wall Street in the morning, where market observers will quickly dismiss the headline number and instead focus on the number of private sector jobs created during the month.

When the Labor Department's report is released Friday at 8:30 a.m. EDT, expect nonfarm payrolls to drop by 87,000, according to consensus figures provided by But Wall Street economists are also looking for private sector payrolls to have grown by 82,500 last month, which will top the estimated 42,000 jobs gained in the private sector as reported by Automatic Data Processing (ADP - Get Report) earlier in the week.

In June, the job market lost 125,000 jobs. And while the private sector still managed to add 83,000 jobs during the month, the total lacked the spark Wall Street was looking for.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is expected to edge higher to 9.6% in July from 9.5% the month before.

Layoffs continued making headlines in July, as Boeing (NOC), Stanley Black & Decker (SWK - Get Report) and Winn-Dixie (WINN), among others, issued pink slips during the month. Challenger, Gray & Christmas echoed that when it reported announced layoffs grew 6% in July, though that's still well under recession-level job cuts.

While stocks appear to be holding tight ahead of the release , a group of economists and labor market experts offered a few thoughts on what they see in the U.S. job picture and what they'll be looking for out of Friday's report.

Brian Bethune, chief financial economist, IHS Global Insight

"We still are of the view that around 60,000 to 70,000 private sector jobs were created. That is somewhat higher than the ADP report. But overall, it's not going to be enough to offset the decline in census workers."

"We are going to see probably some gains in hours worked and average hourly earnings; we'll still see income gains, which is going to keep the recovery going, even though the total jobs picture has not been terrific."

Peter Cardillo, chief market economist, Avalon Partners

"I'm looking for nonfarms to go up about 5,000. I know I'm on the optimistic side. I think that the private sector probably added some 92,000 or 93,000. I think the key is to see an improving trend by the private sector."

"I think if we see the private sector adding more, increasing on a monthly basis, I think that's a good indication -- that, along with other indicators we've been getting -- seems to suggest that the decline in economic activity has been arrested and the economy has been growing at a slow pace. I think that's what the market is trying to figure out."
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