By: Janet Harrah
The painfully slow recovery of the labor market from the latest recession has helped to highlight some of the weaknesses in the labor market data. Each month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases two reports on the status of the labor market.
However, interpreting the numbers is not necessarily straightforward. Often, the two reports do not appear to be telling the same story. That is the case with the December 2013 reports for the Cincinnati metropolitan area. The payroll report presents generally positive improvements in the labor market between December 2012 and December 2013, while at the same time, the household survey presents generally negative to neutral changes in the labor market during the same period.
Depending on which statistics you pull out from the report, an analysis of labor market conditions can come to two very different conclusions.