DoL Reports Layoffs, Hirings Down

October 1, 2003 ( - Reducing layoffs may have put the brakes on the recession in 2002, but a lack of hiring still translates into a net job loss on business payrolls.

The Department of Labor (DoL) reports 356,000 jobs were lost in 2002.   Examining it even further, during the last quarter of 2002, there was a net job loss of 70,000, a figure based on the difference between the 7.82 million jobs that businesses cut during that period and the 7.75 million jobs that were added during the final three months of last year.

The new report said that, of the job gains, 6.11 million occurred at businesses that were expanding payrolls and 1.63 million occurred at new establishments.   By comparison with the job losses, 6.19 million occurred at businesses that were laying off workers and 1.63 million occurred at establishments that were shutting down.

However, with the new report data – based on the actual unemployment insurance reports that 6.4 million private-sector businesses are required to file on a quarterly basis – comes new questions.   Primarily, why is there such a disparity between the unemployment insurance reports and a separate survey of households?

The monthly payroll data show that since the recession ended in November 2001, the economy has lost another 1.14 million jobs through August of this year. The household survey though paints a different picture, showing an economy that has gained 1.41 million jobs during that same time period.