We've been hearing the latest employment numbers show things moving in a positive direction, but the economy and jobs market are still weak. That's, of course, a major factor in an election year. Our friend from the business world, Joe Nocera, joins us. He's an op-ed columnist for the New York Times. Joe, thanks for being with us.
JOE NOCERA: Thanks for having me, Scott.
SIMON: As we heard, of course, the economy added more jobs in February than economists had expected. Is this a trend or true stability?
The American job market is still a long way from healthy, but its pulse feels a lot stronger now than it did six months ago. The Labor Department says employers added 227,000 workers to their payrolls in February, a solid — if not spectacular — performance. It continues a trend that suggests a genuine recovery, not a temporary blip.
The unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent, even as nearly 500,000 people joined the workforce.
Improvement in the job market is a boon for President Obama as he tries to hold onto his own job in November.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Ready for some creative competition? Weekends on All Things Considered is launching Round 8 of its Three-Minute Fiction contest. Here's what we look for: original, short fiction that can be read in less than three minutes — that's no more than 600 words.
We have another drawing tonight at 10:00 p.m. Everyone who pledges before 10:00 p.m. Thursday, March 8 will be automatically entered. You could win a pair of tickets to the live broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" on Saturday, June 9,at Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium. These are premium seats. Pledge NOW by calling 800-552-8502 or pledge online here:
Mules have carried people and supplies in Grand Canyon National Park for more than a century. Now they have a chiropractor to soothe their aching muscles.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
The famous pack mules that carry supplies and people in and out of the Grand Canyon have back pain, as you might imagine. One man is on a mission to make the lives of these beasts of burden a little less painful.
When Rene Noriega retired a few years ago after a long career as a Border Patrol agent, he took what — for him — was the next natural step.
Sharon Van Etten's raspy, elegant vocals and deeply confessional folk-rock have made her a rising star. Ever since her official debut in 2009, the heart-breakingly intimate Because I Was In Love, Van Etten has been expanding her sound and adding grit to her delivery.