6/05/2010

Latest unemployment numbers

After declining for a while, the Household survey shows that there was a sudden large increase in the number of people not in the labor force: rising by 493 thousand. The Household data showed that there was a 35,000 person drop in the number of people with jobs, but the unemployment rate fell because of the huge increase in the number of people who simply took themselves out of the labor force and were thus no longer looking for a job.

The Establishment Survey shows a 431,000 increase in total nonfarm jobs, but 390,000 of those are due to increased government jobs (most getting temporary jobs at the Census). Even in the private sector, 31,000 jobs were in "temporary help services."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Omer B said...

I don't know how true it is, but I have heard of people who have been hired for census jobs claim that they would be hired then fired and then rehired, sometimes multiple times, to inflate the jobs numbers. Allegidly, a "new job" is created when someone gets hired, no matter how long they hold the job for, even if it's for an hour. So if one where to be hired at 9 am, then fired at 10 am, them hired back at 11 am, then fired again at noon, then hired once again at 1 pm, then that would mean the government has "created" 3 jobs.

6/05/2010 10:29 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Thanks, Omer, but that won't mess up the numbers. The unemployment rate is determined by a survey. You are either employed or unemployed at the moment that you are surveyed. You can't be counted twice.

6/05/2010 7:12 PM  

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