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The BLS Jobs Report Covering April 2014: A Tale of Two Contradictory Reports And Deeply Mixed Messages

The Brief Version
This is a very schizophrenic jobs report. In the seasonally adjusted “official” data, the unemployment rate dropped an amazing four-tenths of a percent to 6.3% but this was accomplished completely by contraction in the labor force (-806,000) and employment actually fell slightly. Read more about The BLS Jobs Report Covering April 2014: A Tale of Two Contradictory Reports And Deeply Mixed Messages

BLS Jobs Report Covering January 2014: Revisions and Seasonal Lows

The Brief Version

Because of yearly revisions, direct December-January comparisons are dicey. I will just note that, in the business survey, seasonally adjusted 197,000 jobs were added December 2012-January 2013 as compared with 113,000 this month, December 2013-January 2014. Keep in mind that anything below 200,000 is weak, and anything below 150,000 is bad. Read more about BLS Jobs Report Covering January 2014: Revisions and Seasonal Lows

The BLS Jobs Report Covering December 2013: A Bad Report

The short story is this. In the Household survey, seasonally adjusted unemployment fell an incredible three-tenths of a percent to 6.7% in December. The labor force is around 155 million. 0.3% of that is around 450,000 workers. In fact, it was 490,000. Yet the Business survey reported, also seasonally adjusted, an increase of just 74,000 as compared to the upwardly revised November number of 241,000. Read more about The BLS Jobs Report Covering December 2013: A Bad Report

The BLS Report Covering November 2013: Effects of the Government Shutdown Fade, Part Time Work Increases

In the household survey on employment, seasonally unadjusted, the October government shutdown took out expected October highs and created losses in numerous categories. In November, these were largely reversed. The biggest ongoing hit is to the labor force which is still 490,000 smaller than it was in September. And while employment increased, unadjusted, 631,000, most of this was in part time jobs (554,000). Read more about The BLS Report Covering November 2013: Effects of the Government Shutdown Fade, Part Time Work Increases

The BLS Jobs Report Covering October 2013: Effects of the Shutdown Mostly Hidden But Still Large

The October 2013 shutdown of the federal government affected seasonally unadjusted data in the Household survey only. It did not affect seasonally adjusted data in the Household survey or any data, adjusted or unadjusted, in the Establishment survey. Since official numbers, like the unemployment rate (7.3%) and jobs created (204,000), are seasonally adjusted, no effect from the government shutdown will be seen in them. Read more about The BLS Jobs Report Covering October 2013: Effects of the Shutdown Mostly Hidden But Still Large

The BLS Jobs Report Covering July 2013: Slow Build But In Poor Quality Jobs

The short version:
In July, unemployment fell to 7.4%. This was because the labor force seasonally adjusted (trendline) was largely unchanged and so most of the 227,000 increase in employment came from net hiring among the unemployed and not those entering the labor force. Employment remains 2 million below the last peak in January 2008. Read more about The BLS Jobs Report Covering July 2013: Slow Build But In Poor Quality Jobs

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