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Commerce Department and Bureau of Labor Statistics on Census Jobs Inflation Claims

Commerce Department spokesman Nick Kimball:

“The Census Bureau — like all other employers — reports the number of individuals on its payroll for the specific week the Labor Department uses as a point of reference for measuring the nation’s level of employment. This is not a tally of positions filled during the past month — instead, it is the number of actual individual human beings who received paychecks that week. That number can then be compared to the reports from previous months to understand the changing jobs environment over time.”

Bureau of Labor Statistics spokeswoman Stacey Standish:

"Each month the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Current Employment Statistics (CES) program publishes the employment levels for total nonfarm and component industries. Establishments, including the Census Bureau, are asked to report the total number of workers on their payroll. That is, the establishment is asked to report the total number of employees who worked or received pay for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. The CES program does not ask establishments to report the number of new hires or jobs created, or the number of persons who were laid off.

The Census Bureau reports to the BLS (and to the public) the number of temporary Census 2010 workers on payroll during the reference week http://2010.census.gov/news/releases/jobs/temp-workers.html. The net over-the-month change for these employees is the difference between these levels. The Census Bureau has made it clear that they count individual workers once when reporting the level to the BLS each month. From Shelly Lowe of the Census Bureau: 'The Census Bureau reports the total number of unduplicated temporary 2010 workers that earned any pay during a specific weekly period. Temporary workers earning any pay during the week are counted only once.'

All temporary and intermittent workers reported by the Census Bureau are classified in other Federal government. BLS publishes separately the employment level of Census temporary and intermittent workers on our website so that the effect on the total nonfarm over-the-month change is clear. This information is available here and is updated with each release: http://www.bls.gov/ces/cescensusworkers.pdf."