In a startling revelation, the U.S. government has erased 439,000 jobs from its initial employment reports for 2023, according to an in-depth analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures. This adjustment means that the job market is not as robust as previously suggested.
The revised figures indicate that a significant portion of job growth in 2023 came from increased government hiring. In December alone, the government sector added 52,000 jobs, bringing the three-month average to 50,000 new jobs per month.
However, this trend has raised questions about the sustainability of such growth. Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su refrained from commenting on the issue when pressed by FOX Business's Edward Lawrence.
The healthcare and social assistance sector, heavily reliant on government spending, added around 59,000 jobs. However, these figures do not paint the whole picture and have been subject to previous adjustments. In August 2023, the BLS issued a preliminary revision for the 12 months through March 2023, indicating that U.S. job growth was overstated by a net 306,000 jobs during that period.
These inaccuracies also extend to the private sector, where job creation was adjusted lower by 358,000 during the same period, while government payrolls were revised upwards by 52,000.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank further questioned the accuracy of the BLS figures in December 2022 when its algorithms predicted that job growth had been overreported by 1.1 million in the second quarter of that year.
These discrepancies underscore the challenges encountered in assessing the health of the U.S. job market, with the December jobs report revealing that 683,000 workers dropped out of the labor force. A record high of 8.69 million people now hold multiple jobs to make ends meet, indicating a struggling job market.
As we move into 2024, these revelations about overstated job growth and the increasing reliance on government hiring raises questions about the true health of the U.S. job market and the challenges that lie ahead.