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Employment; Bad Good News

Employment; Bad Good News

By James Clary

Economist

Hampton Roads payroll employment numbers were released today, revealing that payroll employment increased by 1 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, but decreased by 6 jobs from the prior month.

The 6 job decrease is the actual figure from the Current Employment Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (civilian payroll employment was 739 in July), and thus the real employment estimate is 739군 jobs.  Unfortunately, using this number to assess month to month changes in employment does not account for patterns of employment that can vary significantly from month to month.  Over the course of a year, Hampton Roads employment tends to peak in June and begins to decline in July; the 6 job loss for July includes this seasonal pattern.

 
Economists adjust these numbers for the seasonal effects, either through a complicated seasonal adjustment processes, or by simply comparing the month to the same month the previous year. On a seasonally adjusted basis employment increased 1 between June and July, and employment increased by only 100 jobs between July of 2010 and July 2011. These figures indicate that the region’s economy continues to languish, but is not experiencing a free-fall in employment as the decrease of 6 jobs might otherwise suggest.

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