Job Growth Numbers May Be Weaker than Initially Reported
December 4, 2019
This year was already marked by slowing job growth, but the number may be even weaker than initially thought. The monthly job numbers are based on surveys of business hiring, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics then goes back and does benchmark revisions based on hard data such as actually payrolls and state unemployment records.
In their most recent benchmark revision, the Labor Department lowered the number of jobs created between April 2018 and March 2019 by a massive 501,000, the largest downward revision in a decade. Economists expect that similar revisions that cover the rest of 2019 could show that job growth is much weaker. Based on initial reporting, 2019 has added just 167,000 jobs per month. This is the slowest pace in eight years, and any further revisions could reduce the number even more.