Jobs Report Highlights Economy's Fragile State
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
NPR's Jim Zarroli has the story.
JIM ZARROLI: The March unemployment report won't be released until Friday, but there's new data indicating just what's in store, and the picture isn't pretty. ADP Employer Services said that private sector employers eliminated a record 742,000 jobs in March. Meanwhile, the research firm TrimTabs issued a report based on tax withholding data. It says anywhere from 700 to 750,000 jobs were lost. Charles Bederman is the firm's CEO.
CHARLES BEDERMAN: There's an expectation out there that the U.S. economy is in the bottoming phase and that it will be bouncing back and all the actions by the Obama administration will ameliorate the problem. Unfortunately, the real-time data that we track says the opposite, that things are not getting better, that things are getting worse.
ZARROLI: The numbers indicate that the unemployment rate, which was 8.1 percent in February, probably grew even higher last month. Ian Shepherdson is chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
IAN SHEPHERDSON: Well, quite likely, I think on Friday, to see something close to three-quarters of a million net declines, which would be the worst in this cycle and the worst payroll number we've seen since the '50s. So it's really quite a horrendous mess.
ZARROLI: Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.