Effect of Fed hike; jobs report on its way

All the papers have news on yesterday's Fed rate hike. The WSJ (subscription req'd.) reports that the Fed did an excellent job of preparing the economy for the hike, so effects should be built-in to any decisions at this point. Economists consider the rates to be approaching a neutral, non-stimulus, non-restraint level sometime in 2005. Labor costs are aceelerating.

The NY Times reports that jobless claims rose by 1,000 last week, and reports an economic forecast of 240,000 new jobs in June (report will be out this week.) Nevertheless, the unemployment rate should remain at 5.6%. Workers' earnings should rise about 0.3%.

Factory activity cools in June, prices rise in the WSJ (subscription req'd.)

What does it mean for lawyers?

Right now, the indications are that hiring is up, but perceptions haven't quite caught up with that. People will be working harder, but may be more litigious in times like these.
In tightening economies, employers have historically faced increased exposure for employment litigation and administrative investigations. Layoffs, reductions, and restructuring frequently trigger legal action. Our current economy is no exception.

--The Denver Business Journal, 3/15/02, citing EEOC data.