All told, the economy added 180,000 new jobs, dropping unemployment to a 4.4 percent rate that matched a five-year low.
The mostly positive snapshot of the nation’s employment climate, released by the Labor Department on Friday, showed that companies ramped up hiring and paid workers more.
Meanwhile, remember that January and February missed expectations, signalling that the economy was headed for a slowdown? A month ago I wrote:
Employment numbers for each month are revised twice as more information becomes available and it studied more closely following the initial announcement. Basically, I’m expecting next month to nudge both the January (final) and February (first revision) up over forecasts. I’m also expecting March numbers to miss expectations by a bit and we’ll be hearing about how things continue to slow.
Well, the big news in February was that January had only added 111,000 jobs instead of the expected 150,000. Except that it turns out that 162,000 were actually added in January.
In March, the news was that February had added only 97,000 jobs instead of the expected 100,000. Except that the first of two revisions now shows that 113,000 jobs were actually added in February. (And there’s still another revision to come…)
Also, little seems to be made of the fact that the expected job gain for March was 135,000. So I was wrong about missing expectations. Sue me.
Now if only Bush and his tax cuts weren’t wrecking the economy so badly, things would be looking pretty good. Luckily for us, the Democrats appear to have every intention of undoing the tax cuts to fix things.