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A week full of economic data will conclude Friday with the first US jobs report of 2023.

Economists predict that 185,000 positions may be added in January, according to Refinitiv.

That would be a sizeable drop from the 504,000 jobs added in January 2022 and the 520,000 added in January 2021. It would also nearly equal the monthly average of 183,000 between 2010 and 2019, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.

However, while the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes have helped reduce inflation and resulted in slower economic activity without a sharp rise in unemployment, the full effect is yet to come, Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned Wednesday.

America’s unemployment rate fell back in December to 3.5%, again matching the lowest level in 50 years. It is expected to tick up 3.6% on Friday.

Layoff announcements — led by major tech companies — are starting to pick up: The 43,651 job cuts announced in December jumped to 102,943 in January, according to new data released Thursday morning by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

However, the surge in cuts has not yet become widespread. New data released Thursday by the Labor Department showed initial weekly jobless claims fell for the fourth time in five weeks, landing at 183,000, which was the lowest weekly total since April.

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