Government: the Dark Cloud in Sunny Jobs Report

Government: the Dark Cloud in Sunny Jobs Report

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The stock market celebrated the Friday jobs report showing that 236,000 jobs were added in February. But buried in the numbers is a sign of the new drag, if you will the new equivalent of the housing bust. Hint: It’s Uncle Sam.

The number of federal government jobs fell by 10,000 in February to its lowest level since 2005. And thanks to the $85 billion in sequester cuts that slashed the federal budget last Friday, it’s likely to get even worse. Government agencies have already instituted hiring freezes and many are planning to furlough employees in the coming months. -   Read more at The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON POLICIES HOLD ECONOMY BACK    Private hiring would have been even stronger if Congress didn’t increase the payroll tax rate in January as part of the fiscal cliff deal—with the New York Times estimating that the number could have been as high as 300,000.  -  Read more at The New York Times


FED LIKELY TO KEEP PRIMING THE JOBS PUMP     Friday’s jobs report is probably not good  enough to convince the Federal Reserve to pull back on the easy-money programs they've put in place to boost economic growth. In fact, we’re probably going to need a few more job reports like today’s before that happens, since the Fed says it is waiting to see "substantial progress" in the job market, which one Fed official estimated would mean 200,000 jobs added for six consecutive months. We’ve struggled to do better than three months in a row.  -  Read more at The Wall Street Journal


OBAMA’S BUDGET: NINE WEEKS OVERDUE     The White House will release its 2014 budget on April 8, more than two months past its legal deadline. Expect to hear more about this from Congressional Republicans.   -  Read more at The Hill

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Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.