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Nothing Is What It Seems in Bidenomics Jobs Data

Despite White House assurances, the US economy has not rocked the jobs market.

Who doesn’t love the smell of revisions in the morning? Over the past year, the American people have been told ad nauseam that the US labor market is strong, solid, and sublime as the number of new jobs keeps growing every month. This is Bidenomics, don’t you know? What makes government statistics fascinating is that they continually get revised up or down as the months go by. Employment data are no different, something that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) regularly proves.

Revising the New Jobs Data

BLS number crunchers provided updates to the country’s payrolls in 2023. At first, the US government reported that the economy created 3.14 million new jobs. Following the downward adjustments to ten of the 11 months of data – the December tally will most likely be revised – there were 2.697 million new jobs, meaning 443,000 jobs vanished into thin air. If you include government jobs, which do not generate economic value, then the nation was short of roughly 1.2 million private-sector positions last year.

new banner Jobs Jobs Jobs 1In recent months, Liberty Nation has extensively reported on the sizable and frequent revisions to the monthly new jobs figures. As the December non-farm payrolls report highlighted, taking the initial estimates seriously is hard when they are adjusted lower months later. By the time everyone figures out that the economy is weaker than first reported, nobody will care anymore.

Early last year, the BLS updated the national Current Employment Statistics survey between March 2022 and March 2023. In total, 358,000 private-sector jobs went missing. Unsurprisingly, the number of government positions was revised higher by 52,000, meaning that 306,000 positions disappeared in this span.

Was this normal under former President Donald Trump? Based on the up-to-date BLS data, there were 26 upward revisions and 21 downward adjustments. Additionally, there were 24,000 fewer jobs during Trump’s time in office heading into the COVID-19 public health crisis, which was more like a rounding error. Since Biden recovered all of the lost employment from the coronavirus pandemic (officially in March 2022), there have been 569,000 fewer jobs than reported after all the revisions.

Over at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), statisticians published the “Results of the 2023 Comprehensive Update of the National Economic Accounts” report. The BEA team cleaned up the data by erasing fluctuations, whether holidays or seasonal weather patterns. It contained about six years’ worth of data revisions from 2017 to 2022. As Liberty Nation noted at the time:

“Real GDP under Trump was higher than first reported: 2.5% in 2017 (previously 2.2%), 3% in 2018 (previously 2.9%), 2.5% in 2019 (previously 2.3%), and negative 2.2% (previously negative 2.8%). By comparison, real GDP was revised lower in the first two years of the Biden administration: 5.8% in 2021 (previously 5.9%) and 1.9% in 2022 (previously 2.1%).”

Even the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge – the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index – was determined to be overestimated under Trump and underestimated under Biden (2021 and 2022). Personal savings were over reported in both administrations.

Time After Time

Of course, the US government’s method of collecting data should be called into question. Today’s consumer price index is a poor measurement of inflation. There must be something wrong with the PCE. The monthly non-farm payrolls report keeps getting it wrong these days. The problem is that policymakers and financial markets rely on these metrics to navigate decision-making. The Eccles Building will not reverse its monetary policy programs based on adjustments to the March 2023 jobs data. Investors will not sell stocks because inflation was higher in August 2021. For those skeptical of America’s Leviathan, perhaps this is what the US government and the current regime are betting on.

Will the January report show new jobs were created? Most likely. But the under reported statistics will be much more fascinating to comb through since they will likely reveal more revisions, another sharp drop in full-time employment, and a divergence between the establishment and household surveys. Grab the popcorn!

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