(BLS) released their latest
Here are two interesting insights on the report:
What about a supposed misclassification?
Regardless of the assumptions we might make about misclassification, the trend in the unemployment rate over the period in question is the same
the rate increased in March & April and eased in May.
They specifically noted the issue in the latest report by explaining that if they adjusted the rate for the potential miscalculation, it would increase from 11.1% to 12.1% (which is lower than the adjusted rate of 16.4% last month). They went on to say:
“However, this represents the upper bound of our estimate of misclassification and probably overstates the size of the misclassification error.”
Does the shutdown of parts of the economy skew the unemployment numbers?
One such analysis is done by Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at Indeed. He believes the extraordinary number of people in the temporary unemployed category confuses the broader issue of how many people have permanently lost their job. He adjusts for this when calculating his core unemployment rate (which subtracts temporary layoffs and adds unemployed who didn’t search for a job recently).
Last week’s jobs report was much better than most expected. However, we should remain cautious in our optimism. As the Wall Street Journal explained in their analysis of the jobs report:
“U.S. job growth surged last month, underscoring the economy’s capacity for a quick rebound if businesses continue to reopen and consumers regain confidence. A recent coronavirus spike, however, could undermine trends captured in the latest jobs report.”