U.S. employment fell by 328,000 in October

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data showing that the United States economy added 261,000 jobs in October. Some, such as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, saw this as unequivocally good news:

But, as I’ve noted before, these numbers come from the Establishment survey which measures the number of jobs. When we look at the Household survey which measures the number of people employed, we see that, in fact, the number of Americans in employment actually fell in October by 328,000.

The labor market has been held up this year as the proof that the United States is not in recession — 3.6 million jobs were added between January and October 2022. But, over the same period, only 1.4 million more Americans found employment. The labor market is not as strong as the jobs numbers suggest.