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Good idea, Wendy:

The U.S. Bureau of the Census collects data that is analyzed and tabulated by the BLS, which publishes them in a monthly periodical entitled Employment and Earnings. In addition, the June edition of the publication provides data on nearly 600 industries for which monthly data is unavailable. Many times, articles or even entire issues of Monthly Labor Review, published by the DOL, are devoted to workforce data. This publication compares the U.S. workforce to that of other countries, analyzes the workforce in particular industries, and looks at the workforce by subcategories including education, race, age, and ethnic group.

Read more: Workforce - benefits

So the BLS can "massage" the data, but can't fudge the survey process.

The latest Mauldin gram has some more background on the unemployment numbers.

He lists the following skews:

1. Birth/death model: Big jump in "Part time for economic reasons"
2. Rise in young adult employment, the first time ever for a September, going back to 1980.

The chart above shows the sequential change in Non-Seasonally Adjusted jobs for the
20-24 year old cohort (aka those who normally are in student age) into the month of September going back to 1980, as represented by the Household Survey.

We have shown just 22 years of data, but believe us: in this data set, the September NSA jobs change has been negative every single year since the beginning of data collection. Except for 2012 (and considering the surge in temp-jobs for economic reasons, one can be certain that if indeed correct, all these young people obtained primarily part-time
jobs, if any).

3. Quoting Mish: Government hiring went up by 187,000 in September, something I failed to mention yesterday. Taking a closer look, seasonally-adjusted, the number of government workers went up by 681,000 since June (20.619 million in September vs. 19.938 million at the June low point). That's a lot of jobs (and jobs the economy can do without, in my opinion).
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