Jobs Day: 114,000 New Jobs In September

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 5 2012 8:36 AM

Jobs Day: 114,000 New Jobs In September, Upwards Revisions, and the Unemployment Falls

BLS reports today that the economy added 114,000 new jobs (with, I remind you, a +/- 100,000 confidence interval) in September. Upward revisions to July and August data found a total of 86,000 new past jobs. Separately the household survey reports a fall in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent, which brings joblessness below the politically salient threshold of 8%.

I'm going to look deeper and do some more analysis, but I do have to say that the recent rebaselining exercize that discovered almost 400,000 missing jobs was a reminder that the online press has started paying too much attention to this monthly data. It's based on a statistical sample with a large margin of error. It gets revised twice through the sampling data, and then is subject to further revisions as per the rebaselining. A strong number is better than a weak number, but there really isn't a ton that can be inferred from month-to-month fluctuations until they're well in the past and we have more accurate data.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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