Flawed BLS Numbers Surprise Reporters – It’s About Time!
From Schnapp’s Macro Musings of Trim Tabs.
Last Friday, I received lots of calls from reporters asking about last Friday’s disappointing BLS jobs report. They were wondering if perhaps the BLS numbers from December through January were not be correct and wanted to know what we thought. In response to their questions I asked why they would assume that the BLS estimate, based on an incomplete survey, that is revised month after month, then revised again a year later would be taken as the gospel truth about the true state of the labor market.
For over a decade we have been pointing out that the BLS method of estimating employment growth using a seasonally adjusted survey frequently yields an inaccurate measure of actual employment. The BLSí employment estimates are particularly suspect from October through March when their seasonal adjustments range from 800,000 jobs to as high as 2.1 million jobs in an attempt to measure employment growth ranging from a few thousand to 200,000. When the seasonal adjustments are 4 times to ten times greater than the employment you are trying to measure the results are highly suspect.