Because of unpredictable seasonal variations, the Labor Department has historically tended to lowball the initial employment estimates for August only to revise them up later on.
Over the last five years, the revisions have on average added another 77,000 jobs, according to High Frequency Economics. That pattern also holds true for the September figures, although the revised increases have tended to be much smaller.
■ Jobs in the private sector do not necessarily translate to public sector hiring.
After a pickup in public sector jobs in August, several labor economists are continuing to look for additional increases in September.
There are roughly 381,000 fewer public sector jobs now than there were before the start of the recession in 2007, said Elise Gould, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-oriented research organization in Washington. Add in the normal growth that would be needed to keep pace with an expanding population, Ms. Gould said, and there is a public sector jobs gap of 1.7 million.
The generally sluggish recovery in the public sector — the result of continuing austerity in many cities and states throughout the country —has particularly hurt blacks, who occupy a disproportionate share of those jobs.