Labor Estimate Shows U.S. Payrolls Revised Up in Year to March

Photographer: Natalie Behring/Bloomberg

A job seeker speaks to a representative at the annual Maximum Connections job fair in Portland, Oregon. Close

A job seeker speaks to a representative at the annual Maximum Connections job fair in Portland, Oregon.

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Photographer: Natalie Behring/Bloomberg

A job seeker speaks to a representative at the annual Maximum Connections job fair in Portland, Oregon.

The Labor Department’s preliminary estimate of employment in the year ended March 2013 was revised up by 345,000 workers, reflecting the addition of employees who weren’t previously counted in the monthly payrolls report.

Current estimates show 2.03 million jobs were added in the 12-month period. A reclassification of workers into another category of establishments inflated the estimate by 469,000, the Labor Department’s preliminary projections showed today on its website.

The department’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program reviewed businesses that provide non-medical, home-based services for the elderly, an industry that wasn’t reflected in Labor’s monthly payrolls calculations. It reclassified those workers into a category that provide services for older Americans, which the Labor Department includes in its payrolls measure.

The result moved almost half a million workers into the education and health-care services industry. Without this adjustment, the number of employees added to payrolls would have declined by 124,000.

The downward revision is probably the more accurate figure because the level of payrolls in March 2012 has not yet been calculated to incorporate the change, Kirk Mueller, national benchmark branch chief for the Labor Department, said in an interview.

The final annual benchmark revisions to payrolls will be issued with the January employment data to be released in February 2014. The Labor Department uses records from state jobless benefit tax records to benchmark its employment data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Stilwell in Washington at vstilwell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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