shadow

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.

Mark Lennihan/AP
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.

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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