Across the sea, it appears that whatever else happens, Greece is probably not going to sink the Euro and Eurozone. It appears that 95% of Greek bondholders have agreed to a substantial reduction in Greece's debt. (Regrettably Greece itself is probably hosed, but it's looking increasingly less likely that it will serve as a millstone around the neck of Europe's collective economy).
Closer to home, we have a solid jobs report:
Employers in the U.S. boosted payrolls more than forecast in February, indicating companies are growing more optimistic about the expansion. The jobless rate held at 8.3 percent.
The 227,000 increase in payrolls followed a revised 284,000 gain in January that was bigger than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Job growth over the last six months was the strongest since 2006. The median projection of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 210,000 rise in February employment.
A lot of times when you squint at the jobs report there's always something nasty hidden away in it. Squinting a bit at this one, we actually find some good news. Why did the unemployment number hold steady at 8.3%? Because, according to the household survey,
Employment climbed by 428,000 in February, while the labor force rose 476,000.
Close to half a million people have rejoined the labor force and the unemployment rate is still holding. Lost government jobs was down to 6,000, statistically a drop in the bucket. The end of government firings should hopefully point to an end on the fiscal drag being put in place by fifty separate austerity regimes, which points to job growth picking up in the future.
Although ISM indices were kind of meh for February, the regional Fed surveys all showed solid growth.
To close with an anecdote, even in the most depressed of job markets you can imagine (professor of medieval history) I managed to get four initial interviews this year. Now then, I, ahem, choked on three of the four (with number four just being an issue of "fit"), but if things are looking up for a field as depressed as mine, well then, it appears that our republic just might be okay.
Consider this your open thread.