Friday, August 03, 2012
Markets gained on news that employment according to the payroll survey rose by 163,000 in July. However, the other survey, the household survey, showed a drop in employment by 195,000. And while that survey is on a monthly basis more volatile and unreliable it can be an indicator that the payroll survey underestimates or overestimates labor market strength if it deviates systematically from it. And since February, household survey employment is only up by 0.1% compared to a 0.5% gain in the payroll survey, indicating that the payroll survey likely overestimates job growth in recent months.