There were 176,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in June, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report. The gain was larger than May's 136,000, ADP says.

That report, based on surveys of employers, is sometimes a preview of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say in its monthly employment report. The bureau's look at employment and unemployment in June is due Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET. In May, the jobless rate was 8.2 percent.

Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroecnomic Advisers (which produces the report for ADP) says in today's release that:

"The gain in private employment is strong enough to suggest that the national unemployment rate may have declined in June. Today's estimate, if reinforced by a comparable reading on employment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tomorrow, likely will ease concerns that the economy is heading into a downturn."

We'll hear from the Employment and Training Administration this hour about last week's first-time claims for jobless benefits. When that number is released, we'll update this post.

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. Layoffs At 13-Month Low:

"Planned layoffs fell to a 13-month low in June, as U.S.-based employers announced job cuts totaling 37,551 during the month," according to the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. It says "that is down 39 percent from the 61,887 announced job cuts in May."

Update at 8:32 a.m. ET. Jobless Claims Fell By 14,000:

There were 374,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended June 30, down 14,000 from the previous week, ETA says. At 374,000, claims were the lowest since mid-May.

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