Wednesday, January 21, 2004

CES Private Employment (thousands)

CES Govt. Employment (thousands)

CPS Employment (thousands)

I'm puzzled. I've read that Bush is going to be the first president since Hoover to serve a term in which in their was net decrease in employment. Indeed, according to the Current Employment Statistics survey, private employment is down 2,983,000 and government employment is up 662,000, hence a net loss of 2,321,000 jobs, the comparison being between seasonally adjusted data for December 2000 and December 2003. However, other folks point out that these number come from a survey of employers, and hence may undercount jobs because of things like self-employment. Moreover, they have hard data on their side, in the form of the Current Population Survey, which indicates that there were actually 847,000 more people employed in December 2003 than in December 2000.

The true employment trends remain a mystery to me. I've found some arguments in favor of one survey or the other, but no one seems to know for sure. Anyhow, if you like the graphs you can make your own at the above links.