This morning the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual “preliminary estimate” of the “annual benchmark revision to the establishment survey employment series.” Using updated state unemployment insurance tax records, the BLS now estimates that the U.S. economy created 386,000 more jobs over the past 12 months then they previously thought.
So if the U.S. economy magically has 386,000 more jobs today than it did yesterday, does this mean that unemployment will drop dramatically next Friday when BLS releases it monthly jobs report? No.
While the BLS produces both the jobs number and the nation’s unemployment rate, the two numbers actually come from entirely different surveys. The jobs number revised today comes from a BLS survey of employers called the Current Employment Statistics or CES. The unemployment number comes from a survey of American households called the Current Population Survey or CPS. The CES is a measure of jobs created by U.S. employers. CPS is a measure of Americans with jobs.
And while the CES number of jobs created has been consistently positive since February 2010, the CPS number of American with jobs has declined a number of times, including the last two months:
So today’s BLS reestimate changes nothing. The current jobs market is incredibly weak and has gotten weaker the past two months. Couple that with news that U.S. durable good orders in August fell by the most since the recession, and economic growth for the second quarter was downgraded from 1.7 percent to 1.3 percent, and it is clear that the Obama economy is failing.