February Jobs And Unemployment News Likely To Be 'More of The Same'

By Mark Memmott

March 8, 2013

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET. Things Were Better Than Expected:

"Pleasant Surprises: 236,000 Jobs Added; Jobless Rate Dips To 7.7 Percent."

Our original post:

Slow job growth and little change in the unemployment rate.

That's what to expect this morning when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its February jobs report, NPR's Yuki Noguchi said earlier today on Morning Edition.

Economists think we'll hear that there were about 160,000 jobs added to payrolls, she said, which "may be enough to bring the unemployment rate down slightly" — perhaps to 7.8 percent from January's 7.9 percent.

But in effect, Yuki added, the news is expected to be "more of the same": Some job growth, but not enough to bring the jobless rate down significantly — and perhaps not enough to prevent a slight uptick in that rate.

The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET. We'll pass along the news once its released and then sift through the report and reactions to it.

One reason the unemployment rate has remained stuck around 8 percent for the past year: "Companies downsized and invested in technology in recent years," Yuki said. That boosted their productivity and means they don't need to hire as many workers now.

Related headlines:

-- "The Scariest Jobs Chart Ever Isn't Scary Enough." (Planet Money)

-- "Making The Jobless Rate A Moving Target." (The Wall Street Journal)

-- "European Stocks, U.S. Futures Rise Before Payrolls Report." (Bloomberg News)

-- "Steady Job Gains Seen Bolstering Economy." (Reuters)

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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