An Unexplected Surge in Employment
The national political scene saw quite a stir, the first week of October, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a huge jump in employment and corresponding drop in the unemployment rate. As I noted at the time, a large percentage of the increase was attributable to people who are involuntarily working part time, rather than full time.
More curious, though, is that August-to-September is not typically a time for large increases. The September-to-October month is the one that brings a boost in hiring. That fact is usually obscured by the seasonal adjustment by which the BLS smooths the month-to-month results in order to highlight actual trends, but the not-seasonally-adjusted chart at the above link tells the tale.
This factor appears to be in play in the state data, too, especially in Rhode Island. In nine of the last twelve years, employment has dropped in September, before seasonal adjustment. And September has never increased by the 5,229 people reported in this year’s results.
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