Help Wanted?
By Jesse Freund

(Business 2.0) – When the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its February Employment Situation report on March 5, everyone from presidential aspirants to the Federal Reserve will be paying attention. The most critical stat will be the change in nonfarm payroll, which at this stage in the 1992 recovery was climbing by more than 200,000 new jobs a month. In January the figure hit 112,000--good, but not enough to allay fears that this recovery won't create enough new jobs. Another statistic to watch: the length of the average workweek. It's hovered at around 33.8 hours; an increase might mean a thaw in the hiring freeze lies ahead.