The latest pulse on the U.S. economy comes out Friday.
The Labor Department publishes the March jobs report at 8:30 a.m. Here are four things to look out for in the report.
1. Healthy job gains: Economists surveyed by CNNMoney predict the economy added a healthy 199,000 jobs in March. In February the economy gained 242,000 jobs. Still, a gain around 200,000 is considered good.
2. Unemployment stays steady: The U.S. unemployment rate is already very low at 4.9%. Experts believe the unemployment rate continued to stay at that level in March. Some economists are predicting it could drop to 4.8%, which would be its lowest rate in 8 years.
3. Lousy wage growth: Between October and January, wage growth showed signs of life, picking up to its highest level since 2009. But last month Americans’ paychecks only grew 2.2% compared to a year ago, and economists believe it will be more of the same in March. Lackluster wage growth is a big reason why people don’t feel great about the economy despite unemployment being so low.
4. Part-time problems: America has another major problem: a lot of part-time workers. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the high number of part-time workers is one of her biggest concerns right now.
There are still 6 million people working part-time who want a full-time job. Before the recession there were only about 4.2 million of them. The number of these workers has come down in recent years but it’s still historically high. Look to see if the number of these part-timers drops significantly below 6 million for the first time since the recession began in 2007.