The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced employment figures for April 2013: 165,000 new jobs. No one knows exactly what that means, but one thing is certain: This number will certainly change. Does that indicate government ineptitude or political manipulation? No.
Like many kinds of research, determining macroeconomic facts like the employment rate is a process of successive approximation. Since the United States doesn’t have a centralized economy, collecting the data takes a while, so there are statistical corrections to past reports over time, as additional information becomes available.
“The April jobs report, in 8 charts,” Dylan Matthews, Washington Post blog
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Image (based on a WPA photo by John E. Allen) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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