I may not have access to a computer when the employment report comes out today. It will be a very important report. The number to watch will be the three-month average of private sector job gains. This will include revised figures for January and February, as well as March numbers. Here is how I would judge the economy, based on how that average job growth comes out:
< 50,000 jobs per month: really bad news, the economy is still stuck in the doldrums
between 50,000 and 150,000 jobs per month: slightly positive
> 150,000 jobs per month: finally, a recovery is here!
I have vivid memories of Fed Governor Lyle Gramley sitting down at a lunch table in the staff dining room (this was really shocking, because the governors have their own dining room) to tell the guys in charge of the forecast to raise their growth forecast for...I believe it was 1983, if I recall...because "When recovery comes, it really comes!"
My hope is that we are in a Lyle Gramley moment.
[UPDATE: we are in a Lyle Gramley moment. Pretty good report.]