Hoo Boy

The decision, it seems, is unanimous:

Not only was employment growth in February negative, but the B.L.S. also tells us that the previous two months were worse than originally thought. Over the past three months, non-farm payrolls fell at an annualized rate of about 0.1 percent. [Freakonomics]

OK: payrolls down 22,000 in January, 63,000 in February. Hard to see things improving any time soon, thanks to dramatically worsening conditions in the credit markets.

So it’s a very good guess that we will eventually be told that the second recession of the Bush administration began in December 2007 or January 2008. [Paul Krugman]

Link: Rex Nutting: Job growth has slowed to a crawl, economists say – MarketWatch .

There is a natural human tendency to overreact to what is, after all, only a marginal data point, and panic.

Even so, it is now time for words like “alrm” and phrases like “grave concern.” [Brad Delong]

The WSJ Economics Blog has a more comprehensive round-up of economists’ reactions to the latest payroll data released by the BLS.

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