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Bureau of Labor Statistics lowering US jobs estimate by 501,000

August 21, 2019

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced plans to lower its estimate of total nonfarm jobs in the US for March 2019 by 501,000 as part of its annual benchmark revision.

“Each year, the Current Employment Statistics survey employment estimates are benchmarked to comprehensive counts of employment for the month of March,” according to the BLS. The counts are based on state unemployment insurance tax records.

The final benchmark revision will be issued in February 2020.

MarketWatch reported the downward revision indicated the economy is weaker than previously believed. “This makes some sense, as the 223,000 average monthly increase in 2018 seemed too good to be true in light of how tight the labor market has become and how much trouble firms are said to be having finding qualified workers,” Chief Economist Stephen Stanley of Amherst Pierpont Securities told MarketWatch.

The number of jobs in the “business and professional services” category, of which temporary employment is a part, would be lowered by 163,000 in the revision. However, the number of transportation and warehousing jobs would be increased by 78,700.


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