Employment growth – household survey v. payroll survey – for the past 6 months (thousands):
Feb (265) 83
Mar (3) 353
Apr 278 324
May 196 259
Jun 259 78
Jul 629 32
Kerry will likely emphasize the very modest increase in the payroll survey figure. Snow was touting this series this spring but switched his emphasis towards the household survey in June.
Over the past 6 months, both series say employment growth has been just under 1.1 million new jobs. Not so remarkable when one remembers, the labor supply has grown by 1.0 million over the same period.
Update from money.cnn.com:
More importantly, the survey of households, used to compute the unemployment rate, showed 629,000 more people at work than in June. The other payroll number is based on a survey of employers. One economist said he believes this suggests problems with the employer survey. “I don’t have any faith that 32,000 jobs added reflects what’s going on,” said Vitner, who had forecast a 280,000 gain in the payroll number. “The growing disconnect between the surveys is too much to dismiss.” Labor Secretary Elaine Chao also emphasized the strength shown in the household survey when she appeared on CNNfn Friday. “I think there has been a debate which survey should be focused on more,” she said. “Both surveys are trending positive and show jobs growth.” Chao and Treasury Secretary John Snow trumpted the addition of 10,000 jobs in manufacturing shown in the employer survey. “With the addition of 91,000 jobs since February, the manufacturing sector has had its best six-month period in six years,” said statement from Snow.