About 400,000 more Americans have jobs than we thought.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday released an early look at its annual "benchmark revision" of its payroll data. When the preliminary revisions become final early next year, the official data should show that 386,000 more Americans were working in March than previously believed. The private sector did even better, adding 453,000 jobs versus previous estimates.
No, companies didn't go on a previously undetected hiring spree. The Labor Department just got access to better data. When the government releases its monthly payroll figures, it bases the numbers on a survey of some 160,000 employers across the country. Once a year, the government revises the figures based on tax records, providing a more accurate — but much less timely — count.