In early July, the new jobs report was announced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and published by various national news sources. While the report itself is clear on the data, the translation of its message is worth examining.

If you’re not certain on the discrepancy, one can simply Google ‘Jobs Report 2016’ to understand the question at hand. The top ten results appear to describe the same report, yet depending on the media source, the news is touted as either positive, or exceedingly negative. What can we conclude from the opposing press?

The facts

The job report provided the following data for June 2016

  • The total payroll employment increased by 287,000
  • the unemployment rate rose to 4.9 percent

The Daily Signal offers an accurate reflection and blames ‘statistical noise’ for the fluctuation in employment rates. While May’s report showcased a plunging loss of jobs; June’s resurgence should be taken with a grain of salt. Perhaps the most important lesson to learn is that short-term trends are often the cause of this statistical noise. The better practice to employ is to look at longer-term reports. An analysis of quarterly or annual data is far more reflective of the current statistics.