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Friday, August 5, 2011

How Many Jobs Were Created in July 2011?


The July jobs report was greeted with relief by many.  It doesn't reflect huge growth, but it's better than the last two months.  Government workers have been hit hard over the last few months.  Some of that is due to summer layoffs, but that's not the whole story.
Unemployment did drop by a tenth of a percent, but these numbers don't represent robust jobs recovery. 


How many more or fewer people are working this month?  How many more or fewer jobs are there this month?  Were jobs lost or gained?

How many more jobs are there in July than there were in June 2011?


Let's look:
  • 117,000 more jobs in seasonally-adjusted numbers were reported by employers now than in June.
  • 1,231,000 fewer jobs in "raw" actual numbers not adjusted for seasonal variations were reported by employers now than in June.
How many more private sector jobs are there in July than there were in June 2011?
  • 154,000 more private-sector jobs in seasonally-adjusted numbers were reported by employers now than in June.
  • 4,000 fewer  private-sector jobs in "raw" actual numbers not adjusted for seasonal variations were reported by employers now than in June.  (In other words, private employers are saying that they have employed 4,000 fewer people in July than in June.) 
How many more (or fewer) government jobs are there in July than in June 2011?
  • 37,000 fewer government jobs in seasonally-adjusted numbers were reported by government employers at all levels (federal, state, and local) now than in June.
  • 1,227,000 fewer government jobs in "raw" actual numbers not adjusted for seasonal variations were reported by government employers at all levels now than in June.

How many more people are reporting themselves as working in July than in June 2011?
  • 37,000 fewer people reported themselves as working in seasonally-adjusted numbers than were working in June.
  • 255,000 more people reported themselves as working in "raw" actual numbers not adjusted for seasonal variations than were working in June.

How can these two numbers, the "seasonally adjusted" and the "non-seasonally adjusted (raw)" jobs numbers be so far apart? 

117,000 gained vs. 1,231,000 lost?  

June, like May and the other spring months, is historically a hiring month.   Even in the deepest part of the recession in early 2009, jobs were added in the Spring.  But July is a layoff month.  We would expect to see over a million jobs lost in July, even during a good economy.  As a result, the "adjustments" made for July usually adjust up; whereas, they adjust down for May and June.

Remember that without these adjustments, job numbers would be totally useless and would swing wildly.  Non-adjusted numbers, however, do reflect what is actually happening with jobs in terms of ourselves, our families, friends, and neighbors.

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