NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Labor Department releases its nonfarm payrolls report for January at 8:30 a.m. EDT. As the first employment report of 2011, it is bound to get a lot of attention.

Estimates of job growth in January vary widely, with consensus projections reported by the media also differing considerably, an indication perhaps of last minute revisions. According to consensus estimates from, the economy is expected to have added 148,000 jobs in January, after adding 103,000 jobs in December. Private payrolls are expected to have grown by 163,000.

However, the report could have some noise. The Labor Department announces an annual benchmark revision every year. The preliminary estimate of the benchmark revision indicates a downward adjustment to March 2010 total nonfarm employment of 366,000 (0.3 percent). That changes the month-to-month comparisons for nonfarm payrolls.

The December number may have also undergone some revisions since the last report. Weather could have been a constraint on jobs as well. Join our live blog for instant updates on the report.

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DIA), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF ( SPY) and the PowerShares QQQ ( QQQQ) were rising slightly ahead of the report.

Wall Street will be watching the results of Aetna ( AET), Aon ( AON), Fortune Brands ( FO) and Tyson Foods ( TSN) as the report is released.

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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