AP: Job outlook suggests more hiring

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This is a typical flawed AP story on job creation. The world’s largest news organization seems incapable of understanding that all the fancy numbers in its economic indicator stories are meaningless without a proper benchmark. In this case the benchmark is a lie, because zero does not equal zero.

It takes a net gain of 100,000 to 130,000 new jobs each month just to provide employment for new additions to the workforce due to population growth. This is above and beyond the positions that normally open up due to retirement and fatalities.

The U.S. population has expanded to 312 million from 188 million since 1963. That’s fast growth — 66% in 48 years.

Which means what?

It means we have to create 120,000 to 140,000 new jobs each month just to break even. That’s the missing benchmark. Without it, this report sounds way better than it is.

This AP story says that ADP is estimating that we created 157,000 in June. It needs to indicate that the ADP estimate represents a net gain of at least 25,700 jobs after adjusting job creation for population growth. It doesn’t. And that sucks.