WASHINGTON -- Most analysts say the employment data due out Friday will show an uptick in job creation last month over March's meager 88,000, but it won't be a big increase.
The data could be an indicator of whether weak hiring in March marked a temporary lull or the fourth year in which a slumping economy has slowed job growth.
Economists say they think employers added more than 100,000 jobs in April but far fewer than the 196,000 that were added on average from September through February.
The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at a still-high 7.6 percent.
The Labor Department will release the report at 8:30 a.m. EDT.