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Once again, the jobs report escaped the margin of error

Yes, the latest jobs report had an unremarkable headline payrolls number and showed almost no wage growth, but one remarkable figure came out of it: the number of employed people jumped by 683,000.

That's not only huge; it's outside the Labor Department's margin of error of around 400,000 for the household survey, where that number comes from. More often than not, the number of new employed people falls well under that threshold. But in the last year, we've started to break that margin a little more often. In the below chart, that 400,000 threshold is marked in a red line.

Employed margin of error

Of course, there are always all sorts of caveats even beyond the margin of error. The data can be very noisy, and the BLS will eventually revise these figures as well. But this chart gives two important lessons: 1) the labor market has had some truly huge monthly gains lately, and 2) always beware margins of error in the monthly jobs report (And for more information, read Marketplace's great dissection of the margins.)

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