Jobs Rose By 304k Although Employment Fell By 251k: Unemployment Rate 4.0%

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 304,000 but employment fell by 251,000. The unemployment rate rose to 4.0% from 3.9%

Initial Reaction

Last month jobs came in at 312,000 but employment only rose by 142,000. This month jobs came in at 304,000 but employment fell by 251,000.

The two-month scorecard is jobs +616k, employment -109k. The discrepancy is 725k but negative revisions also come into play.

Of special note, the U6 unemployment rate jumped a whopping 0.5 percentage points to 8.1%.

And supposedly we had a sudden die off as the population shrunk by 649,000.

This is one of the screwiest reports ever.

Let’s dive into the details in the BLS Employment Situation Summary, unofficially called the Jobs Report.

Job Revisions

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up from +176,000 to +196,000, and the change for December was revised down from +312,000 to +222,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 70,000 less than previously reported.

After revisions, job gains have averaged 241,000 per month over the last 3 months. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to the November and December revisions.)

Job Revisions Last Month

Last month the BLS revised November up from +155,000 to +176,000, and the change for October was revised up from +237,000 to +274,000. With these revisions, employment gains in October and November combined were 58,000 more than previously reported. After revisions, job gains have averaged 254,000 per month over the last 3 months.

Revised Scorecard

The two-month scorecard is jobs +526k, employment -109k. The discrepancy is 635k.

BLS Jobs Statistics at a Glance

  • Nonfarm Payroll: +304,000 – Establishment Survey
  • Employment: -251,000 – Household Survey
  • Unemployment: +241,000 – Household Survey
  • Involuntary Part-Time Work: +490,000 – Household Survey
  • Voluntary Part-Time Work: -285,000 – Household Survey
  • Baseline Unemployment Rate: +0.1 to 4.0% – Household Survey
  • U-6 unemployment: +0.5 PP to 8.1% – Household Survey
  • Civilian Non-institutional Population: -649,000
  • Civilian Labor Force: -11,000 – Household Survey
  • Not in Labor Force: -639,000 – Household Survey
  • Participation Rate: +0.1 to 63.2– Household Survey
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