Markets hugged the flatline premarket ahead of a hotly anticipated July jobs report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 7.75 points, the Nasdaq Composite was down 20.75 points and the S&P 500 was up 1.00 point.
The Labor Department is expected to release the monthly report at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists surveyed by FactSet expecting the U.S. to have added 862,500 jobs in July, higher than June's 850,000. The unemployment rate is estimated to have fallen to 5.7% from 5.9%.
Unemployment and the labor shortage will be of particular focus for Jim Cramer as federal jobless benefits come to an end on September 6, with numerous states having already stopped many of the additional benefits establish during the height of the COVID pandemic. "This is the last number where you're really going to be thinking that these benefits are etched in stone and help people because that's going to go away," Cramer told Action Alerts PLUS senior analyst Jeff Marks Thursday.
To get ahead of the pack in terms of gauging the impact of unemployment on the economy, Cramer said look no further than Uber's (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies, Inc. Report latest earnings report.
Uber disclosed Wednesday that it spent heavily to combat a driver shortage, which CEO Dara Khosrowshahi associated with unemployment benefits.
“In Q2 we invested in recovery by investing in drivers and we made strong progress, with monthly active drivers and couriers in the US increasing by nearly 420,000 from February to July,” Khosrowshahi said in the release.
"I think that Uber is a tremendous way to measure the economy...I felt very good about the economy after reading the Uber call," Cramer said.