As always, everyone is turning their attention to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see the latest employment situation report. With such positive figures from March and an eventful month in April unemployment was bound to level-out again. But do these figures even matter in the long run?
After the March figures showed an increase for the fourth month in a row, many took it as hopeful signs the economy was recovering. The latest figures surprised everyone with such large gains in jobs, and an unpredicted increase in unemployment.
Category Dec. 2010 Jan. 2011 Feb. 2011 Mar. 2011 April 2011
Unemployment 9.4% 9.0% 8.9% 8.8% 9.0%
Jobs 103,000 36,000 192,000 216,000 244,000
Although the figures show an increase in added jobs—the biggest gain since May 2010—unemployment still had a .2% jump up to 9.0% from 8.8%. The added jobs had a positive impact on the economy, as stocks have shown large gains immediately after the report figures were released.
Some analysts say that the jobless percentage is not as important as the added jobs figure. There is some volatility of the employment survey, while the actual jobs figures are easier to track and therefore more reliable.
Many Americans are watching the employment report closely especially as congress looks for different ways to cut the budget in order to avoid breaking the debt ceiling. So far, many government employees were the ones that took the hardest hit as budget cuts were being made and this report shows it as government payrolls decreased by 24,0000 last month and local government employees dropped by 14,000.
To see last months employment situation report follow this link.
Does the Jobs Report Matter?
At 8:30 a.m. every month, many reporters scramble to be the first to get the latest employment report figures onto their sites, but does it really matter?
Some analysts have a lot of criticism of this figure because of its initial inaccuracy. What some readers may not know, is that there is another survey released two months after the initial employment situation summary revising the original figures. Some revisions have been up +200,000 and can range from +50,000 to +150,000.
The jobs report is still more reliable than the unemployment rate considering the bureau of labor statistics has usually been off by +/- 430,000 when measuring actual employment data.
The numbers may not be the most accurate, but they still impact the market as seen this morning. Do you think the government should hold off on the jobs report until they have more accurate figures? Let us know in the comments: