The employment report is essentially unchanged from last month with unemployment holding steady at 9.7%. Here are some discussions of the report.
- Calculated Risk: Employment Report: 36K Jobs Lost, 9.7% Unemployment Rate
- Calculated Risk: Empl-Pop Ratio, Part Time Workers, Unemp over 26 Weeks
- Employment Picture: Things Getting Worse Much More Slowly... - Brad DeLong
- Employment Report - Angry Bear
- American joblessness: No growth - The Economist
- Comparing This Recession to Previous Ones: Job Losses - Economix
- Is the Recovery Losing Steam? - Economix
- 36,000 more jobs gone. Blame the snow? - Andrew Leonard
- Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 9.7% in February - The Atlantic
- The Weather Effect on Jobs - Real Time Economics
- Broader U-6 Unemployment Rate Increases to 16.8% - Real Time Economics
- 36,000 Jobs Lost in February - Rate Steady at 9.7% - NYTimes.com
- Feb. unemp rate remains unchanged at 9.7 percent - washingtonpost.com
- US unemployment holds steady at 9.7% - FT.com
- Jobless Rate Holds at 9.7% in Face of Snowstorms - Bloomberg.com
- Nonfarm Payrolls Fall by 36,000; Jobless Rate Holds Steady at 9.7% - WSJ.com
There is a lot of optimism about this report due to the fact that it appears that the rate of deterioration in labor markets is slowing and perhaps even about to turn the corner. But I find it hard to be upbeat about an economy that is moving sideways, especially when the broad measure of unemployment increased, and hours worked fell.
It's good to see that the administration recognizes this. Brad DeLong:
Statement on the Employment Situation in February: [A]n unemployment rate of 9.7 percent is unacceptably high and we need to achieve robust employment growth in order to recover from the terrible job losses that began over two years ago. That is why it is essential that Congress pass additional responsible measures to promote job creation. It is also vital that we continue to support those struggling with unemployment...
Such as? What responsible measures?
The biggest and easiest would be another $300 billion in aid to states for the remainder of fiscal 2010 and 2011 to keep state and local services from suffering additional cuts and to shave perhaps 1.5 percentage points off the unemployment rate. Senators, however, are opposed to it: if they give money to governors, governors use them to cut ribbons and then run against senators to try to take their jbos. It would, however, be the right thing to do.
I expect Congress will implment a few token employment measures they can brag about in reeloection speeches, but I don't expect anything anywhere near the amount needed to be enacted. [Also posted at MoneyWatch.]