Were jobs added or lost in July?

Basic answer: it depends.

It depends on which BLS survey you look at.

The BLS’ “Establishment Survey” polls businesses and collects data on hiring and firing.

It says that 163,000 jobs were added in July … reversing a recent slide.

The BLS’ “Population Survey” polls people instead of businesses and collects data on whether they’re employed, unemployed, looking for work.

The Population Survey says that 195.000 jobs were lost in July … which is why the unemployment rate increased to 8.3%


  1. Both surveys are conducted by the BLS
  2. The Establishment Survey – which heavily guesstimates small biz hiring & firing —  is the headline jobs number.
  3. The Population Survey is the basis for the headline unemployment rate
  4. From the lips of the BLS: “Both the payroll and household surveys are needed for a complete picture of the labor market. The payroll survey provides a highly reliable gauge of monthly change in nonfarm payroll employment. The household survey provides a broader picture of employment including agriculture and the self-employed.

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