The U.S. jobs report due on Friday augurs a pivotal moment for investors to assess whether surprisingly tepid job gains seen last month were a momentary blip or the start of something more persistent.
Payrolls may have risen by 650,000 in May, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. That would be a significant acceleration from the previous disappointing gain of 266,000, though still a moderation from the million-plus increase originally anticipated when that last report was published.
Those high expectations drove the biggest downside miss in records dating back to 1996, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and underscored labor-market frictions that have stemmed from reopening the world’s largest economy.
States have largely removed pandemic restrictions on activity,…