Employment, a household survey measure, is more volatile than jobs, an establishment survey measure. The divergence is large even though the trends look alike.

Jobs vs. Employment Level

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The trends are in the same direction, but the volatility of the employment level is apparent.

Jobs vs. Employment - Percent Change from Year Ago

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On a percentage basis, jobs are up 1.7% from a year ago. The employment level is up only 1.1% from a year ago.

Jobs vs. Employment - Change from Year Ago in Thousands / 12

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During recessions, jobs and employment track very closely. Otherwise the volatility of employment is clearly visible.

Year over year employment is up an average of 136,000 per month. Jobs are up an average of 211,000 a month. That's quite a difference.

The numbers tend to converge, but which way?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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Examining the Discrepancy Between Jobs and Employment

In the past year, the BLS says the number of jobs rose by 2.62 million. Employment rose by 1.429 million.

Congratulations Workers! You Make a Penny More Per Hour Than Last Month

The average worker makes a penny more per hour than last month in real terms. The year-over-year gain is precisely zero.

November Jobs +228,000: Employment Only +57,000

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Solid Jobs Report but Divergence Between Jobs and Employment is Still Strong

Today’s employment report shows a robust increase of 235,000 jobs. And for the first time in many months, the rest of the report was good as well.

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