Business Insider has a story up that one state’s numbers are what threw the report off last month. It links to another story explaining that one large state (likely California) did not report all of its numbers in a timely manner. I think this is part of it, but there might be another factor.
I’ve been thinking about this miraculous September jobs report, as has my husband. it was a conversation last night with Mr. Liberty that prompted me to look up a few things. This is our own speculation mind you, but the long & short of it is: stimulus funds expired.
(CNSNews.com) – There was good news for American workers in August—if government was their employer.
The unemployment rate for government wage and salaries workers dropped from 5.7 percent in July to 5.1 percent in August. At the same time, the number of government wage and salary workers counted as unemployed dropped by 123,000 people from 1,182,000 in July to 1,059,000 in August.
The overall national unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in August.
A year ago, in August 2011, there were 1,271,000 unemployed government wage and salary workers. So, the number of unemployed government workers has dropped by 212,000 since then.
The unemployment numbers for government workers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are not seasonally adjusted.
The government jobs are not seasonally adjusted. Got it.
The 5.1 percent unemployment rate for government workers was the lowest unemployment rate for any of 17 different categories and subcategories of industries for which employment is tracked and published on a month-to-month basis by the Department of Labor. These include nonagricultural private wage and salary workers; mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction workers; construction workers; manufacturing workers; durable goods manufacturing workers; nondurable goods manufacturing workers; wholesale and retail trade workers; transportation and utilities workers; information workers; financial activities workers; professional and business services workers; education and health services workers; leisure and hospitality workers; workers in other services; agricultural and related private wage and salary workers; and self-employed, unincorporated and unpaid family workers.
“Provided further, That funds set aside in the previous proviso shall remain available until September 30, 2012”
In government speak, that’s ‘use it or lose it’. So, what do states do when they have funds they have to spend? Use up the money any way they can. Hiring a lot of seasonal or temporary workers is one way. Combine the need to use these funds up with a large state like California being behind in some of its reporting and voila, you might get the big drop we saw in September.
Note: Recovery.gov has not yet updated with the final report numbers for September, but they had the total number of jobs updated as of 9/19/12. That number was unchanged from the Q2 April-June 30 report at 152,295.