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May jobs weakness could be due to retailers, strikers

May's employment report could be just as weak if not weaker than April's, due to an expected slowdown in hiring at big chain stores and the temporary impact of the Verizon strike.

The consensus estimate of economists is for 164,000 nonfarm payrolls, with the unemployment rate at 4.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters. In April, the unemployment rate was 5 percent and payrolls were at 160,000, a shocking 40,000 below what was expected.

This month, economic forecasters have lowered their expectations due to the impact of 35,000 striking Verizon workers. The company announced an end to that strike last week. The jobs report is expected at 8:30 a.m. EDT Friday, at the same time international trade data is released. There are also ISM nonmanufacturing and factory orders at 10 a.m.

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