Jobs growth may have been hurt by calendar quirk: analyst -- MarketWatch

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The dismal May jobs report may have been artificially suppressed by a quirk of the calendar, Barclays' economist Michael Gapen wrote in a note Friday afternoon. May usually sees large numbers of college students returning to the workforce midway through the month. When the Labor Department's survey week falls in the first half of the month, like this year, fewer college-age workers are captured. (The survey is always conducted during the week that includes the 12th day of the month.) Barclays analyzed May employment data over the past few decades and found that when the survey week is in the first half of the month, average job gains were 110,000. When it fell in the second half of the month, job gains averaged 176,000.

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-Andrea Riquier

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June 02, 2017 15:55 ET (19:55 GMT)