Although its a US holiday on Thursday and many in the market will be taking a long weekend, there is still the important non-farm Payroll release coming out on Friday. Aside from deciding who will win a ForexLive T-shirt, the NFP is important as a gauge of strength of the US economy and, also, a clue as to when the Federal Reserve will begin to wind back extraordinary asset purchases.

Bill McBride, at Calculated Risk asks how many jobs per month will be needed to reach the fed’s unemployment target to begin ‘tapering’?

As an example, for the unemployment rate to decline to 7.3% in December (the high end of the Fed’s forecast), with the participation rate staying steady at 63.4%, would require about 150,000 jobs per month for the next seven months.

McBride uses the Atlanta Fed’s Jobs Calculator tool You can use the tool to plug your own assumptions in and get answers for varying conditions.