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Weak October jobs report expected, but what if it's not?

People looking for work stand in line to apply for a job during a job fair in Miami on May 2.
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October's jobs report is expected to be one of the weakest of the year, distorted by the impact of the 16-day government shutdown.

Markets have been bracing for a poor report, expecting just 125,000 nonfarm payrolls. Traders say a weak number could mean the Federal Reserve would not cut back on its quantitative easing bond-buying program any time soon. But a good report, on the other hand, could be a shock to markets and trigger selling in both bonds and stocks if traders take it to mean the Fed could move sooner than expected.

(Read more: Unemployed are requesting Christmas be postponed)

Economists are also looking for a temporary increase in the unemployment rate to 7.3 percent, according to Reuters. That compares to the 148,000 added in September and unemployment rate of 7.2 percent. If the number comes in as expected, or lower, it would be the slowest payroll creation since July's 89,000, and that was the weakest since June, 2012.