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It's Only Money

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 commentator

Dallas, TX – It's Friday so "It's Only Money," a review of the big and not-so-big stories of the week. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Middays.

Yesterday, initial jobless claims for last week rose higher than expected. Well, over 60-thousand new claims were filed. Today, there's all kinds of mixed news on the labor front. The unemployment rate for March was up two-tenths of a percent, the first rise in three months. That's bad. Non-farm payrolls rose well over the expectations, ending seven months of cutbacks. That's good. But the Labor Department also revised its estimates for February payrolls. Instead of the initial estimate job growth increase of 66-thousand, it fell by 2-thousand.

This is getting to sound familiar. You might remember the big brouhaha over the revisions made by the Texas Workforce Commission. They had to change the Dallas job growth-rate from up to down as well. At a much smaller percentage, I might add. Analysts, economists, and brokers don't seem to be making a big deal of this national revision.

So, we either owe the Texas Workforce Commission an apology or we need a national outcry for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to change its methodology. I vote for the former.

I shall warn you now: yesterday ended the first quarter for earnings and today officially opens the earning season. Doesn't seem to ever end, does it?

Anyway, out of the gate some good new by a couple of Dow Jones components: Alcoa had a good first quarter, as did Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing. Speaking of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, on Monday the company will officially change its name to 3M. It was 100 years ago when Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing was founded and they took 3M as their trademark. In truth, I don't think we've called it anything but 3M in those hundred years. But rules are rules, and they need to make it official.

And if the earning season opener doesn't thrill you, how about the Texas Rangers opener at the Ballpark in Arlington? I'd take baseball any day. For KERA Marketplace Middays, I'm Maxine Shapiro.


Marketplace Midday Reports air on KERA 90.1 Monday - Friday at 1:04 P.M.