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The data for 2023 shows that nearly a quarter of all jobs that we were told were ‘added’ in 2023 didn’t actually exist.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the jobs report was overestimated by 749,000 jobs, with 10 out of the first 11 months being revised downword.
Job reports being revised is common but what is unusual is how off these reports were and how 10 out of 11 months the federal government significantly overestimated the number of jobs added. In 2022, only five months had negative revisions and the data was only revised down by 66,000. In 2021, the number of jobs was revised up by nearly 2 million due to people returning to work after being off in the early months of Covid.
The only month so far that wasn’t overestimated in 2023 was July.
The BLS says that 216,000 jobs were added in December, although any revisions won’t be announced until February. Of the 216,000 jobs, 52,000 of those were in government, bringing the total number of government employees to an all-time high of 23 million.
According to E.J. Antoni, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Grover M Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, the revisisions are consistent with the last two recessions, signaling that we are likely about to hit another.
“By the time you include all the monthly revisions and the annual benchmark revision, about one-quarter of all the jobs we thought were added last year have been revised away,” E.J. Antoni, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, told the Daily Caller. “That pattern of consistent downward revisions has happened in two prior recessions. It is a result of market conditions changing too rapidly for the BLS to adjust their methodology, which in turn causes consistent errors in measuring nonfarm payrolls.”
“If not an economic downturn, there must be something else causing the errors to almost all go in the same direction, and by considerable magnitude,” Antoni told the Daily Caller. “These patterns in the data clearly indicate that something is not quite right with the number crunching at BLS last year.”