A 7.7% unemployment rate: Is the economy back?
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the economy added 236,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate falling to 7.7 percent. That’s lowest jobless rate since 2008, but where does this leave us in the economic recovery?
“Amazingly, it turns out that American business doesn’t pay too much attention to…Washington — who knew?” joked Reuters’ finance reporter Felix Salmon. “I doubt we’re going to see uncertainty-related jobs slow down, if you will.”
On the other hand, Salmon said he agrees with worries that the sequester will cut into job growth.
“I think it’s going to be a little more of a wildcard…because the government agencies don’t have to start layoffs right away…they can wait until the end of the fiscal year,” said New York Times economics reporter Catherine Rampell. “And I think that a lot of the federal agencies are sort of assuming that Congress might actually decide to wash away what’s currently in law as the sequester, so they’re holding their breath.”
Salmon and Rampell have some tips for good #longreads over the weekend.
Felix Salmon recommends:
- Forbes’ Kerry Dolan on Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed and his desperation to be seen to be rich and powerful.
- Larissa MacFarquhar in the New Yorker on Aaron Swartz, the wunderkind developer who shocked the tech world by taking his own life.
- A rare insight into Fox News kingpin Roger Ailes.
And Catherine Rampell suggests:
- The tantalizing but spurious correlations found in big data, economist vs. linguists edition.
- Public higher ed is about to cross a historic threshold, in which students pay a higher percentage of college operating costs than states do.
- The science of insomnia.
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