Job reports typically report on jobs as if they are a commodity; a job is a job, whether you’re a CEOs or a greeter at Wal-Mart.
So it’s good news that 287,000 new jobs were added to the economy in June—assuming you believe government statistics—but it’s bad news if the jobs are so mediocre, illegal immigrants wouldn’t work them.
First, let’s consider the numbers. In May, the experts predicted that 160,000 new jobs would be created, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that only 38,000 were created. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.7%, though, because 458,000 workers dropped out of the labor force and were no longer counted in the statistics.
For June, experts predicted that 175,000 new jobs would be created, which is 112,000 fewer than the BLS reported. At the same time, the BLS revised the May figure downward to just 11,000 new jobs. The question no one seems to be asking is why there was so much volatility between May and June. How does the economy add virtually no jobs one month and then produce 26 times as many jobs the following month? Even the stock market isn’t that volatile.
The report prompted headlines such as, “U.S. employment rebounds strongly in June, calming fears of economic slowdown” (The Washington Post), “Job growth surges in June as employers add whopping 287,000 jobs” (USA Today) and “Jobs Roar Back With Gain of 287,000 in June, Easing Worry” (The New York Times).
And, by the way, the unemployment rate increased from 4.7% to 4.9% in June, primarily because some Americans rejoined the work force. (more…)