The Labor Department released its consistently inaccurate jobs report on Friday showing that an additional 539,000 Americans lost their job during the month of April.
The reason I bring up the "consistently inaccurate" statement is not out of personal opinion but rather past performance. For the past six months, the Labor Department has woefully underestimated the monthly number of job losses only to retrace the data and increase the number of job losses once the data is out of the limelight.
Here is what the Labor Department has initially published for monthly job losses when compared to their revised findings.
Initial / Revised
Oct 2008: 240K / 380K
Nov 2008: 533K / 597K
Dec 2008: 524K / 681K
Jan 2009: 598K / 741K
Feb 2009: 651K / 681K
Mar 2009: 663K / 699K
On average, over the past six months, the Labor Department has underestimated the actual monthly job losses by over 15%. That's not a small adjustment.
I'm not saying that they are intentionally trying to blunt their report, but I'm just saying. That is a wild deviation. And the fact that over the past six months that they have always erred to the positive makes one pause for a moment.
What this consistently inaccurate reporting means for the April jobs number is that job losses were likely higher than the 539,000 that were reported. Not that Wall St. will care, they are too busy celebrating a fictional housing and economic bottom.