About that Jobs Report

Scott Francis
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I have to admit I was a bit puzzled by the distance between the ADP report and the official jobs report. Not to mention, I was a bit puzzled by the net-18,000 job gain, while around me I’m seeing more hiring than laying off going on.  Yes, we’re in Texas, but tech workers all over the country are finding work. But of course government employment was a big drag on the monthly number, as the number of state, local, and federal workers declines in the face of less stimulus spending and budget shortfalls in most of the states.  So, it turns out if you *don’t* add seasonal adjustments to the monthly jobs report, the US actually added 376,000 jobs, according to Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider. So, to explain:  we added 376,000 jobs in June.  But, the federal government applies a smoothing function to make month-to-month comparisons easier over time, that reduced the reported numer to 18,000.  But, we can compare June 2011 to June 2010 to get a sense for whether things are better or worse in 2011, in actual job number terms:

June 2010:  +107,000 (not seasonally adjusted)

June 2011:  +376,000 (not seasonally adjusted)

Seasonally adjusted or not, jobs in June 2011 were better than June 2010.  Having said that, this doesn’t mean that jobs won’t take a turn for the worse later in the year, or that we’re out of the woods.  Government budgets continue to shrink. Minnesota has shut their government down temporarily, and some firms are struggling a bit as of late. (The article does take pains to point out that in this case, it looks like a Cisco-specific issue rather than the economic headwinds)  It takes a lot of hiring to make up for a 10,000 person layoff. No one said it was going to be easy to dig our way out of the recession, but I still think we’re making progress, based on what we see at BP3 with our customers, partners, and colleagues.

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