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December's employment report is expected to show about 200,000 payroll jobs—a steady rate of growth and an encouraging sign that the labor market and economy may have finally started to turn after years of false starts.
Job growth is expected to have been broad-based, with services industry workers topping the list of hires, but with additions in construction and manufacturing as well. Economists also say the employment situation also improved because government workers are no longer being let go.
"I think relative to where we were a few months ago … a lot of people are more optimistic about what's going on in terms of job growth and GDP growth," said JPMorgan economist Daniel Silver.
The hope is that this new momentum, showing up in consumer spending and industrial production, will not sputter like so many other rebounds have since the recovery began.