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Stefan Karlsson

US jobs added, but report details aren't so rosy

The US payroll survey showed an increase in jobs by 165,000 but the household survey tells a different story.

By Guest blogger / August 3, 2012

In this Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 photo, ironworkers James Brady, left, and Billy Geoghan release the cables from a steel beam after connecting it on the 104th floor of 1 World Trade Center, in New York. US employers added 163,000 jobs in July.

Mark Lennihan/AP

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Markets gained on news that employment according to the payroll survey rose by 163,000 in July. However, the other survey, the household survey, showed a drop in employment by 195,000. And while that survey is on a monthly basis more volatile and unreliable it can be an indicator that the payroll survey underestimates or overestimates labor market strength if it deviates systematically from it. And since February, household survey employment is only up by 0.1% compared to a 0.5% gain in the payroll survey, indicating that the payroll survey likely overestimates job growth in recent months.

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Stefan is an economist currently working in Sweden.

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The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. This post originally ran on stefanmikarlsson.blogspot.com.

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