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If August job growth comes in somewhere over 200,000, that would be strong enough to boost the chances for a Fed interest rate hike in September.
Economists are forecasting 180,000 nonfarm payrolls were created in August, and the unemployment rate is expected to fall by a tenth to 4.8 percent, when reported Friday morning, according to Thomson Reuters. The report follows July's 255,000 jobs, and comes after two robust months of hiring removed concerns about an especially weak labor market in May.
The Fed put the spotlight on this one number, when officials specifically said last week that September is possible for a rate hike depending on the data. The employment report is the most important data input for the Fed. Even so, many Fed watchers remain convinced that the second rate hike in 10 years is more likely to come in December, after the election and much more data.