America will learn Friday how many jobs were created in March. The result should help investors solve the mystery of whether harsh winter weather or slowing growth has been behind a spate of weak economic readings.
The consensus expectation is for 195,00 new jobs, according to FactSet. After three lukewarm-to-weak reports, that would mark the biggest nonfarm payrolls increase since November.
Joseph LaVorgna, chief US economist at Deutsche Bank, is expecting an even bigger increase of 275,000.
"I'm surprised people aren't higher on their numbers," LaVorgna told CNBC.com. "The true underlying pace of job growth is 180,000 to 200,000, probably, [and] 275,000 just gets us back to the trend that was in place prior to most of the weather distortion."
While LaVorgna expects to see the March number increased by a spate of delayed activity, he says that a weak reading still won't change his view that weather has been temporarily stifling the economy.
"Say that in March, we say half of what we're expecting. Well, then [the] weather payback effect could still be coming," the economist said. "We're going to need to see April and May data. We could be sitting here in June, still questioning whether there was a weather effect."