Economists think this morning's jobs report will sound pretty good. It's expected the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say there were about 200,000 jobs added to payrolls last month when it releases the news at 8:30 a.m. ET.
But as NPR's Frank Langfitt explained on Morning Edition, the numbers were likely skewed a bit by some unusual factors:
— Temporary hiring by the Census Bureau.
— A shift of some hiring from February, when blizzards shut down many businesses.
Take away those things, Frank says, and the "real" growth in private employment may have been in the 25,000 to 40,000 range.
Obviously, that's much better than the huge job losses most months since the economy slipped into recession in December 2007. But it likely wasn't enough to affect the nation's jobless rate, which stood at 9.7% in February.
Here's the conversation Frank had with ME guest host Mary Louise Kelly:
Marketplace Morning Report also previewed the employment news this morning. As it says, the jobless rate is expected to remain "stubbornly high" for some time:
The jobs report will be posted here shortly after 8:30 a.m. ET. We will jump on the news as quickly as possible, so check back with us around then.
Planet Money, which sifts through the economic data, is here.