Worker productivity gains around 2 percent a year, or equal to economic growth, doesn't foreshadow a big jump in employment, Austan Goolsbee of the University Of Chicago Booth School of Business said Thursday.
"You basically don't need to hire anybody to grow that fast," he said.
On CNBC's "Fast Money," the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers said that employment gains would begin to materialize at an economic growth rate around 3 percent.
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Ahead of Friday's U.S. employment report, Goolsbee added that he didn't expect overly positive news.
"I've been saying for some months that I don't expect a lot of good to be coming out of the job market because the growth rate hasn't been that high, and then you take the sequester and the fiscal drag is pulling it down a little more," he said.
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Goolsbee said that he expected a jobs number around consensus or below.
Economists expect an increase of 169,000 in non-farm payrolls, with an unchanged jobless rate of 7.5 percent.
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"I think it's going to be a tough summer," he said.