Tomorrow the Labor Department will release its monthly Employment Situation Report, which estimates the number of jobs the U.S. economy added in March as well as the new official unemployment rate.
According to Bloomberg News, economists predict that the report will show the economy gained 205,000 jobs in March, roughly in line with a report from payroll services firm ADP, which estimated that the private sector added 209,000 jobs last month. If the figure does come in above 200,000 it will be the fourth consecutive month of more than 200,000 jobs being added to the economy.
That kind of number is enough to stay ahead of population growth, though most predict that the employment rate will remain at 8.3%, because formerly discouraged workers will continue to reenter the official workforce.
One economist that is taking a more optimistic view, however, is Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics. Though he believes the recovery will slow down a bit in the coming months, he has upped his forecast for employment growth, predicting, “The U.S. economy is growing fast enough to lower the unemployment rate below 8% this year.” He also foresees that the jobless rate will be around 7% by the end of 2013, and that the U.S. economy will reach full employment, defined as just under 6% unemployment, by late 2015.
Considering just last summer, fears were that the globe was ripe for another financial meltdown, I think most people would take these results any day of the week. To be sure, the world economy faces many headwinds, but according to Zandi, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The first step would be a healthy jobs from the Labor Department tomorrow.