The government has been caught spiking job growth numbers. In investigative research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, job numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) were inflated by over 1,000,000 when growth should have been just over 10,000 jobs.
That is an unmistakable departure from the true numbers according to the Federal Reserve. The grossly-inflated numbers were touted by the Biden administration ahead of the November mid-term elections.
“In the aggregate, 10,500 net new jobs were added during the period rather than the 1,121,500 jobs estimated by the sum of the states; the U.S. CES [Current Employment Survey] estimated net growth of 1,047,000 jobs for the period,” the report stated.
The discrepancy was reported in the Federal Reserve’s quarterly report and raises serious concerns about the politicization of job numbers by the BLS and the Biden administration. The discrepancies were not a one-off report but, rather, wrong in 33 states.
According to the regional central bank’s second-quarter “Early Benchmark Revisions of State Payroll Employment” report (pdf), researchers’ estimated employment changes that occurred between March and June were different in 33 states and the District of Columbia from data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
During this period, Philadelphia Fed researchers found that there were higher adjustments in four states, lower changes in 29 states and the nation’s capital, and lesser revisions in the remaining 17 states. This included a 4.1 percent drop in payroll employment in Delaware and a 1.2 percent decrease in jobs in New Jersey.
As a result, employment gains might have been overcounted by more than 1.1 million.
This also means that payroll jobs were little changed in the March-to-June span. In addition, current estimates indicate that employment growth was 2.8 percent in the four months since June.
E.J. Antoni, a research fellow for Regional Economics in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation, says the government pushed “job growth” early on without actual facts to back it up.
“The Philly Fed data aligns well with the household survey that shows a flat job market since March, contra the robust growth from the establishment survey,” he said. “The seasonal adjustments to the monthly headline jobs numbers this year from BLS have been abnormally large to the upside. December’s number will have to be revised down 30% more than normal to essentially balance out the earlier large upward revisions. Job growth was technically ‘front loaded’ in 2022.”
Will this force the BLS to revise its figures lower in the coming months?
Government fudging the numbers
Critics say that there’s something wrong with the monthly jobs report.
The BLS report is comprised of two chief surveys: establishment (businesses) and household. The former has recorded stronger-than-expected growth for most of 2022, while the latter has been roughly flat. Since March, the divergence has skyrocketed to 2.7 million workers.
The main explanation for this gap is that the BLS allows double counting. This means it will count every extra job a person possesses as another payroll. The household component doesn’t permit this feature.
Because the number of people holding two or more jobs has risen by more than 8 percent since November 2021—to roughly 7.8 million—double counting has increased significantly over the last year.
Despite overcounting issues, federal government data in November suggest that the U.S. labor market is slowing. Full-time employment decreased from October to November, part-time job growth was flat, and the Department of Labor’s diffusion index—a metric that calculates the percentage of 256 industries adding jobs—slumped to 63.5, down from 74.8 last year.