Looking For A Fake 700,000 May Non-Farm Payroll Number

This Friday the NFP report from the BLS could easily surpass 700,000 people, driven primarily by temporary census hirings and by Birth/Death adjustments. The Census Bureau reported that between the weeks of May 9 and May 15, there were 573,779 employed census workers. In the prior month, for the week ended April 17, there were 156,335 census workers employed, or a differential of 417,444 newly hired census workers between April and May. Keep in mind that in the May NFP report, the benefit from census workers was at 66,000, or 90,335 less than the Census reported number. As a result, due to the BLS' voodoo math and double counting, its is distinctly possible that the Census alone will add up to 507,779 workers (organic hirings of 417k and the plug for the prior period of 90k). Also, recall that the Birth-Death adjustment in April "added" another 188,000 workers. Retaining the same level of statistical adjustment, and the May NFP number will be at 700,000 before even one real full-time person has been added to the economy in the month of May!

Market News confronted the Census Bureau's Director Robert Groves for some clarification.

“This report will be our employment as of the week of May 12th, which will be a big rise for us.”

When asked if Census hiring will peak in May, Groves said the peak will occur from May going into June, with
June’s total being slightly lower than May’s.

“The week of the 12th of June will be lower that’s what you have to remember,” Groves added.

Groves said July would be a dip from June, but August would be higher than July.

“August might be a little higher depending on the scheduling” Groves said.

Micheal Cook, Branch Chief of the Census Public Information Office, told MNI that Census hiring is currently on schedule.

“2010 Census operations are on pace with the original estimate of having approximately 1.4 million positions over the lifecycle of the entire 2010 Census,” Cook said.

“However, it is important to point out that positions span different periods of time coinciding with our various operations and therefore one person may be rehired and could hold multiple positions,” Cook added.

Groves said the Decennial 2010 Census has done most of its total hiring already.

The Decennial 2010 Census is currently in the “Door-to-Door” phase, with census workers physically knocking on doors. It is also the period when the number of people working for the census peaks.

The good news: the statistical abortion that is the census will soon begin to moderate. May and June will likely be the peak months, at least as pertain to BLS data fudging. The bad news: as the census data is trickling into the BLS computers on what appears a delayed basis, it is fully possible that the May NFP will be a Joe Biden wet dream-inducing 700,000. On the other hand, keeping a track of initial jobless claims, which have persistently refused to drop below the 400,000 level needed for organic growth and unemployment rate reduction, it means that with even three quarters of a million in NFP addition, not a single person may end up being hired by the economy. Additionally, with recent announcements by both financial and blue chip companies that mass layoff events are once again picking up, we may be in the paradoxical situation where we may be "adding" half a million in jobs monthly even as the US enters a double dip recession and pink slips are flying all over again.