More Jobs Than We Thought

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics has just revised its estimate of the number of jobs that were added to the U.S. economy in March by 386,000.

For comparison, the current employment report says, “Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 139,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.”

These estimates are always rough science – they don’t poll every employer in the country every month because it’s obviously impractical, if not impossible. So instead they take a big enough sample of people to make an educated guess that they are statistically 90 percent confident is right.

That means they’re often off by as many as 100,000 jobs, which is why they make revisions over the next couple months. The most accurate picture comes a year later, and this release is a preliminary estimate of that.

The biggest revised gains were in “Trade, transportation, & utilities” (145,000 jobs) and “Leisure & hospitality” (99,000 jobs).

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