Hiring in May was expected to be about the same as April's pace, but Friday's employment report is much more important to the Fed's rate decision process and could therefore have an outsize impact on markets.
The government's May jobs report, to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, also lands against a backdrop of high anxiety in global markets after a stunning bond rout this week drove rates higher at a fast and furious pace. While traders believe yields may be topping for now, a nervous stock market sold off sharply ahead of the jobs number and as Greece comes down to the wire on debt talks.
Economists expect 225,000 nonfarm payrolls, up slightly from April's 223,000 and an unchanged unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, according to Thomson Reuters. Average hourly wages are expected to rise a modest 0.2 percent.