The changes in payroll employment over the past two years.
The nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.2 percent in March from 8.3 percent in February, but only 120,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this morning in a report that was less positive about the labor market's health than economists had expected.
Prior to the news, forecasters had predicted BLS would say about 200,000 jobs were added to payrolls last month.
The morning's major news, if all goes as planned, will be the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the March jobs and unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to Reuters, economists expect we'll hear that the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent and that private and public employers added about 200,000 jobs to their payrolls. The jobless rate's recent peak was 10 percent, in October 2009.
By signing the JOBS Act, President Obama likely didn't buy himself much relief from GOP charges he's hurt job creation.
Credit Carolyn Kaster / AP
President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (or JOBS) Act into law Thursday, legislation meant to make it easier for entrepreneurs to get investor financing that helps them add workers. Does that mean it will be harder for Republicans to frame Obama as anti-jobs?
"Well, if it works, it will make it harder," said Craig Shirley, a longtime conservative political strategist and writer who runs a Washington, D.C.-area public-affairs firm.
"This bill represents exactly the kind of bipartisan action we should be taking in Washington to help our economy," said President Obama before signing the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act into law.
It was a rare bipartisan moment in Washington. Just look at this picture:
The Democratic president is flanked by Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia and Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democratic delegate from the District of Columbia.
Job seekers attend a career fair in New York City. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the quick drop in unemployment might have been a reversal of overzealous cutbacks during the financial crisis.
The monthly employment report Friday could help answer a key question about the economy: Will the recently strong job growth slow once employers finish replacing the people they fired during the depths of the recession?