Sunday, April 08, 2007

March Jobs Gain

The monthly unemployment announcements receive headline treatment almost every month. Changes in unemployment are significant indicators of national economic conditions. The March jobs report looked pretty good, and seems to be at odds with some other macro indicators that are flashing caution.

“Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 180,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.4 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Employment increased in construction, retail trade, and health care. The number of manufacturing jobs continued to trend down. Average hourly earnings rose by 6 cents, or 0.3 per-cent, over the month.” "Health care accounted for about one in six jobs added to payrolls in the past six months," noted Philip L. Rones, deputy commissioner of labor statistics.

The March jobs report seemed to lower the probability of a housing led recession later this year, which the former head of the Federal Reserve, Allan Greenspan, has put as high as one in three. The low unemployment rate and the strong jobs growth also lowered the possibility of a cut in interest rates anytime soon.

Extra Credit: Explain how the Bureau of Labor Statistics came up with a 4.4%. unemployment rate in March. Use the actual numbers in the Employment Situation Summary to illustrate. If you are the first student to send me an e-mail ( with the answer, you will be rewarded with two extra credit Discussion Board points. Only two points extra credit per student can be earned in any given week from the blog questions.

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