Economic Direction

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 3:57pm

The Labor Department's monthly jobs report comes out today, but it may not show the whole picture.

The Labor Department's monthly jobs report comes out today, and while it won't affect jobs lost due to Washington's massive budget cuts, it will give us some idea where the economy is headed.

Both sides seem hopeful this direct contact will be effective with the President on one side, Republicans on the other, and Americans in the middle.

The unemployment rate sits at 7.9%, and economists don't predict much change this morning. "This coming month it will probably decline, so it will get down to 7.8 [percent], and then we're gonna stay there and maybe notch a little higher this summer," predicts Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics.

It's a mixed bag - insurance giant Metlife is adding 2,600 new jobs in North Carolina, but in Minnesota, IBM is moving dozens of jobs to Mexico.

Border patrol just sent out 60,000 furlough notices and Nebraska base workers wait for the impact of budget cuts. "I will literally, probably not buy food," says Tracy Killian, Offutt Civilian Worker.

To fix it, President Obama is reaching out one-on-one to Republicans. He'll meet them on Capitol Hill next week after a White House sit-down with Budget Chair Paul Ryan and his committee's top democrat. "Coats off, sleeves rolled up, really discussing ways that we might begin to bridge some of the differences," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, (D) Maryland.

"I'm hopeful that something will come out of it, but, if the President continues to insist on tax hikes, I don't think we're going to get very far," said House Speaker John Boehner, (R) Ohio.

Regular Americans, on the other hand, are not so patient: "Compromise, meet in the middle, make it happen, get it done," said Washington D.C. resident Kris Wilner.

And people are hoping that it's sooner than later.

The next budget crisis is less than three weeks away.

Tracie Potts, NBC News.

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