Home Jobs November jobs report was not a blowout, it was a big disappointment

November jobs report was not a blowout, it was a big disappointment


Contrary to what the mainstream media is saying, the November jobs report from the Department of Labor is not a blowout, but a disappointment. The headline number of 263,000 additional non-farm payrolls sounds like robust growth, but that is not what most Americans are feeling right now. Even a cursory look under the hood of this report shows things are not as rosy as that headline number makes them appear.

The seemingly robust headline number of 263,000 jobs comes from the establishment survey of businesses, while the unemployment rate comes from the household survey. But the household survey also has a measure of employment, and that fell by 138,000. In fact, the household survey has been flat since March of this year, with essentially no jobs added over that time.

In the last eight months, there has been an unprecedentedly large divergence between the two surveys of 2.7 million jobs. One reason for this is that the establishment survey allows for double-counting, and the household survey does not. Over the last year, approximately one-fifth of the additional non-farm payrolls have been double-counting, not additional people employed.


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