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Employment numbers? Ignore them.

Job seekers wait in line to enter the San Francisco Hire Event job fair in San Francisco.

There's a large audience that waits with bated breath for the monthly jobs report that is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But Marketplace's Heidi Moore says to forget about it. What many people don't know is that employment figures are revised at least once or twice after their release. So those dismal numbers from February and March? After the revisions, they weren't so bad.

But the numbers Moore says we should be watching are the unemployment numbers -- long-term, marginally employed, underemployed -- because they give us an idea of whether the country is set up to grow jobs and GDP. Those figures do not change. Other figures Moore suggests people should look at is producitivity, which is currently down. This may sound bad, but it indicates that there are more employed workers in training, which causes companies to lag a bit. Also the average hourly earning rate and then number of loans banks are making to individuals and small businesses are also on the rise -- all signs that the economy is in a slow and gradual recovery.

About the author

Heidi N. Moore is The Guardian's U.S. finance and economics editor. She was formerly the New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace.
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Given the amount of damage that the US economy took in the Great Recession, and demographic changes (aging population, decreased upward social mobility - see Pew Mobility Project, advanced manufacturing requiring greater education and yielding fewer jobs), the new normal may be a 7% (or more) unemployment rate for full employment. And it wouldn't matter who was president, even a ham sandwich.

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