Employers add 288K jobs … oh, really?

The headline: 288K jobs added.

Boom times in America, right?


Here’s what has me scratching my head …

First, some technical background.

There are two  BLS surveys: the Establishment Survey which queries businesses and the Household Survey which queries individuals, i.e. people.

The Establishment Survey is a larger sample, but has a huge data whole – new and small businesses —  that gets plugged with a SWAG.

The Household Survey is smaller (about 10,000 respondents) … but big enough that it’s treated as the gold standard for calculating the unemployment rate.

It was the Establishment Survey that reported 288K jobs were added.

Guess what?

The Household Survey said the opposite … that 73K jobs were lost.



Let’s take this a step further …


Earlier last weeks, the Feds reported that GDP was essentially flat in the first quarter …  only increasing  by 1/10th of a percentage point.



Despite a flat economy, the BLS says that employers were adding jobs like drunken sailors.

Does that make sense to you?

My view: one of the two numbers has to be wrong … either the GDP or the employment numbers … and, given the job losses reported on the Household Survey … I’m betting the 288K job gain is more illusion than reality.


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