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Thursday, May 24, 2007

WSJ on the Construction Employment Riddle

by Calculated Risk on 5/24/2007 01:29:00 AM

From the WSJ: Job Market's Strength May Have Been Overstated

Official employment data may have overstated job growth, especially in the home-building industry, some economists say.
Nothing new - maybe it's laid-off illegal immigrants, maybe it's out of work self-employed, maybe there is a lag between the housing slump and layoffs, maybe the BLS missed the turning point, maybe commercial construction has absorbed some of the residential construction workers ...
"There's a lot of potential answers and partial solutions" to the riddle, [Michael Feroli, an economist at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.] said. "With each one of these stories, you fix one hole, but you spring another leak somewhere else."
The "riddle" may be caused by a combination of several factors, but it does appear that the BLS will revise job growth down significantly this year.