BLS Rumored to Lower Job Creation Estimate

May 11, 2001 ( - June may mark the first quarter in four years in which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) cut its estimate for jobs created in new businesses, a high-ranking BLS official told Reuters.

The lower estimate would reflect the slowing US economy.

The quarterly estimate, which takes various economic indicators into account, has been steady at around 150,000 for the past four years and is 148,000 for the current quarter.

The current estimate has come under criticism for being too high in light of the economic slowdown, which has taken a particularly high toll on small businesses and the tech sector.

The impact of the cut on the June payroll number will be hard to predict since, if made, it will coincide with the seasonal adjustment revisions to annual data, also set for June.

April’s report showed businesses shedding jobs at the highest rate in a decade, far worse than anticipated. Employers slashed 223,000 workers from their payrolls last month after cutting jobs by 53,000 in the previous month.

Data collected each month by the BLS, which includes unemployment insurance claims, is fed into a model, which generates the estimate. A change of 25,000 in either direction is considered significant.