Jobs: A Slowing Slowdown?

Action Economics expects a larger decline in payrolls in May, but encouraging news in other parts of the month's employment report

Could the worst of the U.S. labor-market slump be behind us? Nonfarm payrolls, as detailed in the government's monthly employment report, dropped by 76,000 to 80,000 in each of the first three months of 2008, but only fell by 20,000 in April. For our estimates, we expect nonfarm payrolls to fall by 60,000 in May, which is similar to the median forecast of market economists of a 50,000 decline.

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