Friday, May 02, 2008

Household Survey: 362,000 Jobs Added in April

From today's BLS employment report, here's what probably won't get reported:

According to the more comprehensive Household Survey Data (which unlike the establishment data, includes the self-employed, unpaid family workers, agricultural workers, and private household workers), there were 146.331 million Americans employed in April (see chart above), which is: a) 618,000 higher than April of last year (145.733 million jobs), and b) 362,000 higher than March of 2008 (145.969 million).

Note also what happened to employment levels for both measures during the 2001 recession. Much different than 2008. No recession.

Update: Also, as Brian Wesbury points out, the actual, unrounded unemployment rate is only 4.952%, very, very close to being reported as 4.9% instead of 5%!


At 5/02/2008 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark! How many times have I told you not to play with the numbers!

Household Survey Data includes unpaid family workers so how can that be a measure of anything useful? Sure some "unpaid family workers" make a contribution to the bottom line of another high paying family member but what are the real numbers in terms of income?

In those families with unpaid family workers what kinds of incomes are being seen?

At 5/02/2008 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this view may be different if you take into account the no/weak employment recovery since the post tech bubble bust. take a look at the employment/population rate...

At 5/02/2008 4:23 PM, Blogger Auntie Ann said...

Man, when you do a little extra massaging of the data, you should acknowledge it somewhere.

In January 2003 they redid the way that they collect the Household survey. So, any direct graphing of the BLS's numbers should show a massive jump of about 3 million jobs between Dec 02 and Jan 03.

Since this graph doesn't show that, some correction has been made. It looks to me like the data Dec 02 and earlier has been raised to eliminate the jump from the methodology change.

At 5/02/2008 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BLS says that the threshold for a statistically significant change in the household survey is about 400,000.

The increase in employment of 362,000 is meaningless. But hours worked and weekly earnings in the employment report trended down month over month. That's recessionary.


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