The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a preliminary benchmark adjustment to its payroll employment count. According to the new benchmark, total net job creation was higher by 386,000 positions over the
last 12 months period spanning April 2011 through March 2012.
While seemingly large, this represents an increase of only 0.3% of total employment.
In percentage terms, the second largest adjustment was associated with the estimate of construction employment, which was revised up by 85,000 positions or 1.6% sector employment. No breakout was available in the preliminary data between residential and nonresidential employment.
If the stronger numbers are confirmed in the final estimate, which will be published in February 2013, and a significant share of the construction revision is associated with home building, it may answer a question concerning the apparently lagging relationship between the increase in housing starts and the weak uptick in residential construction employment.
While the report was noted in media accounts, it is important to remember that this is a preliminary estimate with little detail. As such, caution should be used in highlighting these findings at this time.