Upon closer inspection, the report was a total disaster. You wouldn’t know this from the financial media’s coverage, but it was.
The establishment survey shows a gain of 288,000 jobs last month. However, the household survey shows that that the economy lost 73,000 jobs in April.
This is critical. The household survey does not allow for “duplication of individuals,” meaning that if someone holds more than one job, they’re only counted once. In contrast, if someone is working multiple low paying jobs, every single job will be counted in the establishment survey.
Put it this way. If you go from one solid full time job to working as a waiter, cab driver, and tossing pizzas, the establishment survey will show that the economy created TWO jobs (one job lost plus three started= two jobs net) whereas the household survey will show NO growth (one person lost a job and started working elsewhere).
With this in mind, you should be paying attention to the household survey. The household survey shows 73,000 jobs were LOST. This negates the claim that 288,000 were created.