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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats and Republicans are preparing to seize on today’s jobs numbers to argue for — or against — Biden’s proposal for $4 trillion in infrastructure and social safety net spending.

Why it matters: Like early in the Obama administration, the job report is serving as a monthly assessment of the president's economic policies.

  • In Biden's case, the efficacy of his $1.9 trillion relief bill will be on the line, with economists estimating an increase of 671,000 jobs, after last month's disappointing 266,000.
  • Biden raised expectations for the report Thursday afternoon when he touted the latest weekly jobless data, tweeting: "Unemployment claims are down 50% and 64% of adults are vaccinated since I took office. That’s progress."

Behind the scenes: The jobs report includes the total number of jobs added or lost, as well as the unemployment rate. It's typically delivered to the president the night before its 8:30 a.m. release, with a crisp memo prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers, highlighting trends and flagging warning signs.

  • President Obama tended to avoid appearing in public on Thursday night ahead of jobs day, lest his demeanor betray either positive or negative news.
  • President Trump wasn't as disciplined and rarely followed a regulation that forbids government officials from commenting on market-moving data for 60 minutes.
  • In June of 2018, Trump jolted financial markets with a pre-release tweet at 7:21 a.m.: "Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning.”
  • Biden officials follow the regulations and won’t appear on the financial news networks before 9:30 a.m.

Between the lines: Biden himself said he consumed some of the cable commentary on last month’s numbers while “I was getting dressed.”

Flashback: In response to those less-than-stellar April numbers, Biden himself went to the cameras and pleaded for more time.

  • “When we passed the American Rescue Plan, I want to remind everybody, it was designed to help us over the course of a year — not 60 days, a year. We never thought that, after the first 50 or 60 days, everything would be fine," he said from the East Room.

What to watch: The political conversation will focus on the headline jobs number and the unemployment rate, which is estimated to drop to 5.9% from 6.1%.

  • Republicans will jump on any number that misses expectations as evidence that Biden’s $1.9 trillion infusion didn’t actually bolster the economy.
  • Economists will want to look under the hood for any signs of inflation and will eye how much average hourly wages increased. Estimates are for a 0.2% increase.
  • Investors will try to view the jobs report through the lens of the Fed, and may assume that a stronger-than-expected number could lead the central bank to accelerate its timetable for tapering asset purchases. That would likely lead to a drop in the stock market.

The bottom line: May’s number — like all jobs reports — will look backwards.

  • But it will help frame the debate for how effective Biden's first tranche of spending was — and how much more spending the economy needs.

Go deeper

Updated Jun 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden eyes 15% minimum corporate tax rate to pay for infrastructure

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Joe Biden has proposed focusing on a minimum corporate tax rate of 15%, as well as increased Internal Revenue Service funding, as a way to to pay for a possible infrastructure package, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Thursday.

Driving the news: The proposal could could help negotiations with Senate Republicans. Biden made the offer in his meeting yesterday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R- W.Va.) who is leading a group of GOP centrists trying to find a compromise on infrastructure spending.

2 mins ago - Health

Exclusive: Bipartisan group of senators urges Blinken to vaccinate Americans abroad

Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are leading an effort urging the Biden administration to coordinate with the Defense Department to donate supplemental COVID-19 vaccine doses to U.S. embassies and consulates.

Why it matters: Millions of Americans living in countries where they are not considered eligible for the vaccine or those living in places where vaccines are not being authorized by the FDA or the World Health Organization may have to wait for months or even years to receive a vaccine.

Pacific Northwest soon to be ground zero for record-shattering heat

Computer model projection showing the unusually strong heat dome over the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. (PivotalWeather).

A heat wave is bringing unprecedented high temperatures to the Pacific Northwest — a region of the country typically cooled by the ocean, rather than central air conditioning. The heat will begin Friday and last into early next week.

Why it matters: The heat wave will shatter monthly and all-time temperature records in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the records could break the old milestones by several degrees.