March 10, 2017
The U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ February 2017 job numbers represented good news on all sides, from President Donald Trump’s administration, to people who are hired. Specifically, the BLS reported that 235,000 jobs were added on an annual basis, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.7%
But where do these numbers come from?
The BLS has specific protocols in place, to ensure figures aren’t tampered with. The process is so hush-hush, officials lock rooms where numbers are crunched, and trash cans are guarded carefully. The report itself is based on two surveys: the household survey (unemployment rate) and the establishment survey (number of jobs added or lost).
What is interesting to note is that the figures about which everyone gets so excited are estimates. The BLS will examine data it collected for the previous two months, and revise numbers if the figures show an increase or decrease in hiring. These revisions, however, don’t seem to make as much of a splash as the estimates.
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