Friday, September 4, 2009

A Note on Today's U.S. Employment Report

One of the surprises in the California employment report for July released two weeks ago was that the loss in state and local government jobs remained relatively low. I attributed this to "seasonal noise" during summer school vacations and that it would take a few months to get a good read on the employment effects of state and local fiscal woes.

This morning, the U.S. jobs report for August was released. There weren't many surprises in it, with another net loss of 217,000 jobs and the U.S. unemployment rate moving up to 9.7%.

However, there was interesting information in the revisions to the June and July estimates (these figures are revised as more data becomes available). The June and July estimates for state and local government payrolls were revised down by 54,000, a huge revision for a single sector. I expect a significant share of this is from California, and it is something to look for when the state data is released in a few weeks.

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