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Last Updated:
May 11, 2011

Missouri Real Estate

"LIFE IS A MIXED BLESSING, WHICH WE VAINLY TRY TO UNMIX" - author and journalist Mignon McLaughlin. The labor market and the economy saw their own mixed blessings last week, when three different employment reports were released. Unlike Mignon McLaughlin’s quote above about life, these mixed job reports can actually be untangled. So let’s break down what we learned about employment last week...and, just as importantly, what’s going on with home loan rates.

After two disappointing employment reports earlier last week - in the form of the ADP National Employment Report and the Initial Jobless Claims Report - the labor market finally received some good news on Friday when the Labor Department released their official Jobs Report that showed 244,000 jobs were created in April. That was far above all expectations... and it was the biggest private job increase since 2006!

But where did this number come from... and is it accurate?

This headline number comes from the Current Population Survey, which uses the birth/death model to guesstimate the amount of jobs lost or gained in different industries - based on how many businesses were "born" or "died." And it isn't until we get revisions to the previous month's reports that we get a more accurate and final number.

Furthermore, history has shown that the birth/death model used to estimate is lagging - and at the start of an improving labor market, like we are seeing, the future revisions will likely show more jobs created than previously reported. This dynamic was evident in this month's Jobs Report, as revisions to March showed that an additional 46,000 jobs were created.