It looks like the Bureau of Labor Statistics is taking a page out of the Treasury Department’s playbook. If the Treasury can arbitrarily change whose face is on the ten-dollar bill, the BLS has apparently decided it can make the first Friday of July fall on a Thursday. What’s happened to this nation’s time-honored traditions!? Well, the BLS gets a pass on this one since Independence Day is this Saturday and markets are closed tomorrow, so their first-Friday-of-the-month jobs report hit the newsstands this morning. Taking a hit right off the bat was last month’s report.
The originally reported 280k new jobs created in May actually turned out to only be 254k. This morning’s report tells us that 223k new jobs were created in June, but the market was expecting more. So how is it that the Unemployment Rate fell by .2% to a new, low 5.3%? Well, because the Labor Force Participation Rate fell by even more. The new rate of 62.6% was 62.9% a month ago. That’s one way to get the Unemployment Rate down.