‘Foong on Finance’: February Job Gain of 190,000 May Have Been Overstated

By Keat Foong, Executive Editor

It is said that about 150,000 new jobs need to be created per month just to absorb new entrants into the labor force. For many months now, the payroll growth has fallen woefully short of that number.

Last week brought good news. We got word that payroll growth was 192,000 in February. Finally. So much of the health of commercial real estate depends on the US employment situation. The news supports the notion that the economy is really on track to recovery.

It turns out this number, like the unemployment number of 8.9 percent, may not entirely tell the whole story. How often does one hear about the types of jobs that are being created?

And, one statistician, John Williams, says on his web site Shadow Government Statistics  that the number may have been overstated by 230,000 jobs—that 38,000 jobs were actually lost in February. That is because when a company goes out of business during a recession, it is assumed those jobs are still in place.