Employers slowed their pace of hiring in March, but beneath the surface the labor market continued to improve and tighten, leaving the Federal Reserve on course to keep raising short-term interest rates and workers with prospects of better paydays. Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 98,000 in March from the previous month, the Labor Department said Friday, a slowdown from the prior two months. Still, the unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.5% as the number of employed workers grew more quickly than the labor force, pushing the measure to the lowest level since May 2007.
Reservoirs and rivers are overflowing as storms have pounded California this winter, and after years of drought that should be good news. The problem is that misguided environmentalism is wasting the water windfall and failing to store it for a non-rainy day.
Many measures track some form of business optimism, and generally reveal the same trends. But the RSM Index has a novel twist: a new set of questions that track how that optimism is tied up in expectations that President Donald Trump will be able to change the business environment for U.S. firms. The surge in business optimism largely owes to hopes that regulations and taxes will decrease, and that the federal government could invest heavily in the nation’s infrastructure. These views have come in for criticism from those wondering if the new administration will be able to execute on all of its goals. But businesses are already building in different expectations about how much will be accomplished in Washington in coming years.