Job Market Slightly Cooler Than Previously Thought, Says Labor Department ReporterBy Reporter
August 24th, 2023 • < 1 Minute

Nonagricultural job gains this year were cut by 306,000 in a new report released by the Labor Department.

According to revised data released Wednesday, there were a lower number of nonfarm jobs added at the beginning of 2023 than initial estimates indicated in March. The new numbers, which are part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s annual benchmark review of payroll data, suggest that jobs were added by employers at a slower rate this year than in 2022. 

The jobs hit hardest in the revisions were in warehousing, transportation and the professional and business services sector. The revisions also ticked up numbers in other industries, including retail and wholesale, as well as the public sector. 

Still, the data represents only a slightly cooler view as growth has remained historically red hot since last year—with 2.8 million more jobs in March than existed before the pandemic began. According to initial estimates (which could also be revised), another 870,000 jobs have been added since then.

“The change is -0.2% and the average adjustment over the last 10 years has been 0.1%,” Chris Rupkey, economist with FwdBonds, told CNN. “We don’t see any sign here that the labor market is secretly weak.”

“Keep in mind the economy is still growing, having created 870,000 more jobs since March,” he added. “July payroll employment is 156.342 million. When the economy stops growing, we will see nonfarm payroll employment fall. No recession looming here in the benchmark revision.”

It remains to be seen if estimates since March will prompt similar revisions. 

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