Vital Signs: Is Unemployment Near a Peak?

The headliner of this week’s economic news is the Labor Dept.’s employment report for March. The high level of weekly unemployment claims, which stood at 652,000 on Mar. 21, says the job market is still deteriorating. The employment report will tell us just how badly. The median expectation of economists surveyed by Action Economics is for payrolls to drop by about 650,000. That would be about the same amount as in February. In addition, given another sharp increase in the unemployment rate for insured workers, analysts look for the overall jobless rate to jump to 8.4%, from 8.1%.

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