Posts tagged as:

jobs

The jobs report, briefly

June 5, 2010

It's become poor form to take the jobs report at face value, and every financial blog out there is doing its best to reveal "the truth" about the misleading numbers. Most recently, the headline is that the 431,000 jobs which were added to non-farm payrolls included 411,000 temporary census-related jobs. Quick arithmetic reveals that this means only 20,000 jobs […]

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On revisions, episode V

October 2, 2009

This is a huge revision: The so-called “benchmark revision” that was announced today will not formally be incorporated into the job figures until February, and could be revised. But the figures indicate that last March the government overestimated the total number of jobs by 824,000, or 0.6 percent. Its overestimate of private-sector employment was even […]

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Truth in advertising?

June 15, 2009

I find this graph very interesting, not just because of any implied political statements, but for how it highlights the absurdity of economic forecasting and the potentially misguided trust we place in such numbers. The blue lines were circulated by Obama's economic team when they were pitching the stimulus bill in order to illustrate its […]

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First 100 days (of the stimulus bill)

May 28, 2009

The White House is praising the stimulus bill, saying that it has created 150,000 jobs in its first 100 days. Unfortunately, in the last 100 days 9,000,000 people filed jobless claims for the first time.  Thus, the stimulus bill has offset less than 2% of the jobs lost, or - to spin it positively - […]

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On revisions, episode IV (A New Hope?)

May 28, 2009

Durable goods +1.9% vs 0.5%! Durables ex-transportation +0.8% vs -0.3%! Initial jobless claims 5k under expectations! The headlines looked pretty good at 8:30 am, until you took a look at the revisions. Indeed, today's economic numbers serve as yet more examples of creating the false perception of growth by changing the past. Durable goods orders were […]

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On revisions

April 3, 2009

A lot of headlines this morning are noting that the jobs report is "in line with expectations", with a change of 663,000 vs the survey median of 660,000. What gets ignored is the revised number. For 13 straight months, the prior month's number has been revised lower by a significant amount after the fact - […]

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