Friday, May 2, 2008

Latest labor data doesn't support recession scenario

From today's BLS employment report, here's what probably won't get reported. According to the more comprehensive Household Survey Data (which unlike the establishment data, includes the self-employed, unpaid family workers, agricultural workers, and private household workers), there were 146.331 million Americans employed in April (see chart below), which is 618,000 higher than April of last year (145.733 million jobs) and 362,000 higher than March of 2008 (145.969 million). Note also what happened to employment levels for both measures during the 2001 recession. Much different than 2008. Hmmmm.

Also, in case you're wondering. Neither the establishment nor household survey is designed to identify the legal status of workers. Thus, while it is likely that both surveys include at least some undocumented immigrants, it is not possible to determine how many are counted in either survey.

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