In an unusually large revision, government statisticians have erased a half a million jobs from the economic recovery that has occurred since President Trump’s election.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, after checking its monthly figures against corporate tax returns, has trimmed 501,000 new jobs from its estimate of the total jobs created by the U.S. economy in 2018 and 2019.
Job creation remains strong with the revised figures, which would put the monthly new hires in 2018 at about 185,000, down from 223,000, But the reduction is the largest BLS has made since 2009.
The biggest changes came in leisure and hospitality jobs, reduced by 175,000; professional and business services, reduced by 163,000; and in retail jobs reduced by 146,000.
Although the cuts indicate a slightly less robust economy under Mr. Trump than previously reported, the change could lead to upward revisions in wage increases, according to economists.
The revision created few ripples on Wall Street, which is still licking its wounds from Wednesday’s big drop.
The BLS releases monthly job figures that are derived from a survey of some 700,000 businesses, but those numbers are subject to an annual review after the IRS amasses tax returns from the previous year.