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By Jason Stipp | 05-26-2010 12:40 PM

Will Jobs Stay on the Up and Up?

After a good April jobs report, Morningstar's Bob Johnson and Vishnu Lekraj are optimistic for Friday's report on May employment.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar. After a great jobs report for April with 290,000 jobs added to the economy, how many can we expect for May in the jobs report that's coming out on Friday this week.

Here with me to offer some insights is Morningstar's Bob Johnson. He's associate director of economic analysis. And Vishnu Lekraj, he's covering the employment sector for Morningstar stock analysis. Thanks for joining me, guys.

Vishnu Lekraj: Thank you.

Bob Johnson: Thank you.

Stipp: So we had 290,000 jobs added in April. Consensus for May looks like we're – a lot of folks are figuring that we'll add about 500,000, but I think the big factor in there is the Census. So how much do you think tomorrow we're going to see as the Census hiring that's gone on, how much is that going to give us a boost?

Johnson: Well, I think, Vishnu has done a lot of work on looking at some of the past Census data and looked at it, but it's going to be a very substantial number. May is when people start going door to door, for people that didn't send in the forms. So it's when they need the most labor, and it doesn't last very long, maybe two-three months, but they do need to hire those people. Vishnu, you may want to comment on the numbers themselves?

Lekraj: Right. Last census in 2000, we hired 348,000 due to door-to-door for the month of May. So consensus is including something at least as much as that, probably a little more, 350,000 to 400,000, is what I've heard in that range for Census alone. But the main factor I think we have to look at is trying to back that out and look at something deeper.

Stipp: Sure. So we've already seen some Census boost in the past, but as you had said last time around, we're going to continue to see some of those Census workers come-in in later reports. Is it nearing a peak of what we're seeing from the census effect or are we going to see maybe even more in the following months?

Johnson: I think, May is pretty much based on historical record is the peak.

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