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Jobs Report Encouraging: But No Victory Yet

Friday, 9 Mar 2007 | 10:20 AM ET

Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s Economy.com, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that February’s jobs report is encouraging, but it’s too early to say that the economy has come in for a soft landing.

The U.S. Labor Department said the economy added 97,000 non-farm jobs last monthand the employment rate dipped slightly to 4.5%. The consensus estimate was 100,000 jobs with the unemployment rate holding steady at 4.6%.

“It’s too early to declare victory,” Zandi said. “The economy is performing well, but this housing correction is not over.”

He said job growth has slowed over the last two years and the equity markets are likely to be bumpy.

Jobs Report Analysis
An analysis of today's jobs report with Mark Zandi, Moody's economy.com chief economist; Michael Darda, MKM Partners chief economist; and CNBC's Steve Liesman

“The equity market isn’t straight up any more,” Zandi said. “We can cheer a few up days, but it’s going to be sideways for a while. This correction isn’t over. Moreover, housing credit got measurably less easy in the last couple or three weeks and it’s going to get measurably less easy going forward. I think good profits mean continued job and income growth, but I don’t think we can claim this is over that we’ve got a soft landing yet.”

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