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What Do the ‘Revised’ U.S. Jobs Numbers Mean?

Juan Carlos Cisternas (R) and other people looking for work apply for jobs using computers set up during a job fair at the Miami Dolphins Sun Life stadium on May 2
Juan Carlos Cisternas (R) and other people looking for work apply for jobs using computers set up during a job fair at the Miami Dolphins Sun Life stadium on May 2Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The April unemployment numbers, released this morning, were pretty good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces the monthly estimates, the economy added 165,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate ticked down 0.1 percentage point, to 7.5 percent.

The best news, however, may have been what the numbers told us about what happened before April. The government revised upward its estimate for the number of jobs created in March and February. The original March numbers had been disappointing, a measly 88,000 jobs created, but the new number rose sharply to 138,000. The revised February estimate reached 332,000, up from 236,000.