Almost A Quarter Of All Jobs ‘Added’ In 2023 Didn’t Actually Exist

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Will Kessler Contributor
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The original number of jobs reported by the federal government in 2023 was revised down by a total of 749,000 jobs, meaning nearly one-fourth of jobs thought to be created in the year were not actually there, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) analyzed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The sum of the initial estimate from each of the government’s monthly job growth reports in 2023 totaled 3,140,000 new jobs, with later reports revising down the number of jobs added by a collective 443,000, according to the BLS. The BLS also announced in August a revision in total employment for March, subtracting another 306,000 jobs. (RELATED: Businesses Are Getting Crushed ‘Beneath The Surface’ Of Economy, New Figures Show)

“By the time you include all the monthly revisions and the annual benchmark revision, about one-quarter of all the jobs we thought were added last year have been revised away,” E.J. Antoni, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, told the DCNF. “That pattern of consistent downward revisions has happened in two prior recessions. It is a result of market conditions changing too rapidly for the BLS to adjust their methodology, which in turn causes consistent errors in measuring nonfarm payrolls.”

The number of jobs was revised down for every month in 2023, except July, excluding December which will have any changes announced in the January and February 2024 monthly jobs reports, according to the BLS. There were 216,000 jobs added in December, with 52,000 of those being in government, bringing the total number of government employees to an all-time high of 23 million.

The number of downward revisions seen in 2023 was not typical in the two preceding years, with 2022 only seeing negative revisions in five months, in total revising jobs down by 66,000 for the year, according to the BLS. There was only one downward revision in 2021 to the numbers released in March, with the number of jobs being revised up by nearly 2 million for the year as the country recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If not an economic downturn, there must be something else causing the errors to almost all go in the same direction, and by considerable magnitude,” Antoni told the DCNF. “These patterns in the data clearly indicate that something is not quite right with the number crunching at BLS last year.”

The BLS did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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