Jobs data problematic


On Friday, September 3, 2004, at 8:30AM Eastern, the Labor Department will release its Employment Situation reports for August.  Coming right after the Republican Convention, and as the next—to—last such report before the election, the headline Payroll Employment number can be expected to be touted by either the Republicans or Democrats as supporting their view of the state of the economy. 

While several newspapers had more detailed analyses inside their business sections, all but lost to the public in the August 6 headlines about July's disappointing 32,000 increase in employment according to the Payroll Survey was the fact that the supposedly less reliable Household Survey showed an enormous one—month increase of 629,000 jobs.  A column in yesterday's USA Today by the Heritage Foundation's Timothy Kane and Andrew Grossman  titled "The jobs numbers that you're not hearing about," is worth keeping in mind on that first Friday in September. 

If you want to delve deeper, you can do so at by going to their August 6 Web Memo, "A Problem with Payrolls?"    and then link to the the Labor Department's study that acknowledges the Heritage Foundation's March 2004 analysis of problems in the payroll survey.

Posted by Mike Nadler  8 27 04