The disappointing March employment report suggests job growth is coming back in sync with economic expansion after unusually strong job growth in the winter.
With the housing market and auto sales showing some signs of life, pundits predict a better economy for 2012. But the ripple from a European downturn could erode the economic pace in the US.
Fathers and other pre-Christmas procrastinators are expected to hit the stores in force on Friday, kicking off a calendar-enhanced flurry of holiday shopping that should warm retailers' hearts.
Why did the unemployment rate drop so much? There are good reasons and bad. While the economy is in fact adding jobs, it is also true that many Americans may have given up looking.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent last month, down from 9 percent. It's the latest sign that the US economy is steering clear of a new recession. Still, pitfalls linger.