March Jobs: Slow As You Go

If I were into spinning economic statistics, I might just say the unemployment rate dropped to 7.6% in March, and that would be accurate. I’d also say the net job gain numbers for January were revised upward by 29,000, and those for February by 32,000, and that would be true as well.

But the stat we’ll most hear about all day was pretty surprising, and not in a good way: according to BLS the economy created 88,000 new jobs in March, way down from February’s levels, and far below predictions by economists of 200,000 or more.

There are seasonal glitch issues that might have depressed the March numbers, and one month rarely matters much. But it does make you wonder about April and particularly the summer months when the effects of the sequester really starts to kick in. So what are we about to do in Washington right now? Spend the next week or so talking about spending cuts! Go figure.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.