The 2 Metrics to Watch in the Jobs Report

The labor-force participation and the employment-population ratio are clues to the economy's direction.

Are we there yet?

Photographer: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Not so long ago, the number of jobs created in the prior month was considered the single most important piece of information in the rich set of employment data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on the first Friday of every month. More recently, the focus shifted to wage growth as it became apparent that the economy had recovered its employment mojo.

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