Bad News on Employment
By Arnold Kling
Russ Roberts notices the really big news about employment.
Here’s the last paragraph:
The good news was that job gains for both July and August turned out to bigger than previously estimated, taking some of the bite out of September’s figures. The report also showed that job growth during the 12 months ending in March may have been 45 percent higher than previously reported. The Labor Department said payrolls for the 12 months that ended in March 2006 will be revised upwards by a whopping 810,000 jobs, the biggest revision since 1991.
I like that word “whopping.” The Post reporter, Daniela Deane, realizes that an average monthly error over 12 months of 67,000 jobs is an incredible error.
I think that it is vestigial Keynesianism to applaud the discovery that it took 810,000 more people than previously estimated to produce our nation’s output. Unless the statisticians revise GDP upward, this is going to lower our productivity numbers by quite a bit. And productivity is the single most important indicator of our economy.