April Jobs Day Preview

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
April 6 2012 7:53 AM

April Jobs Day Preview

1333713185091

Today is Jobs Day, the release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Situation Report for March with revised data for January and February. The consensus forecast is for 204,000 new jobs in March on the establishment survey of nonfarm payrolls. Since the revisions matter, I think it might be more useful to think about net increase in the level of payroll employment with the revisions factored in. Since everyone is expecting continued growth, we should expect the revisions to be upward in direction as the establishment survey methodology all but guarantees that the BLS will initially underestimate systematic change.

The big analytic issue people are looking to regards the weather. It's clear that an unusually warm winter boosted job creation over the past three months, but it seems unlikely that March weather could have the same effect. The conventional view is that this means we'll see a March and April phaseout of that stellar winter job growth. I think that may be a mistake and that under the unusual conditions of a depressed economy with zero interest rates that the winter boost is permanent. The other factor is simply that there were points in 2010 and 2011 when it also looked to people as if the economy had turned a corner. But both times that sense of corner-turning fed policymaker complacency and then it turned out that bad luck (tsunami, "Europe") happens just as often as good look and next thing you know we were back in the ditch. The March Fed minutes offered a clear sign of a potentially dangerous return of the spirit of complacency.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.