Deep Dive Into the BLS Job Revisions: What Really Happened?

Mish

The BLS benchmark revisions from March 2019 finally see the light of day, today.

Job Revisions

Today the BLS provided these month-over-month revisions.

  • The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up by 5,000 from +256,000 to +261,000, and the change for December was revised up by 2,000 from +145,000 to +147,000.
  • With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 7,000 higher than previously reported.

The BLS also provided the lead image.

Recall my August 21 report: BLS Revises Payrolls 501,000 Lower Through March.

Today the BLS says "The total nonfarm employment level for March 2019 was revised downward by 514,000 (-505,000 on a not seasonally adjusted basis), or -0.3 percent."

For December 2019, the BLS previously reported jobs at 152,383,000. Today we see it's really 151,961,000.

That a difference of 422,000 jobs.

Jobs Rise 225,000 But Employment Fell by 89,000

Today the BLS benchmarks January 2020 at 152,186,000 jobs.

That's a net increase of 1,599, 000 jobs, about 133,000 per month vs the original January 2019 total.

Seasonal reports make today's report more than bit suspect, especially construction work which allegedly added 44,000 jobs.

For more details and discussion, please see Jobs Rise 225,000 But Employment Fell by 89,000.

I commented "Seasonal adjustments make this report more than a bit suspect."

Reader Tony added: "Yes, seasonal adjustments most certainly play a role during the winter. During January, the NOAA reported the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 35.5°F, 5.4°F above the 20th century average, ranking fifth warmest in the 126-year record."

What revisions will we see this March?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (7)
No. 1-4
LB412
LB412

Did California's AB5 law implementation have any impact? We converted a 1099 to a full time W2. Other former 1099s are being advised by CPAs that they must create a corporation if they wish to remain independent/non W2. This is for those who do not pass the ABC requirement as stated in the law. A person who is not essential to the core function of our business e.g. the person who waters the plants remains a 1099.

We will not issue an individual a 1099 if their skill is considered a "core" function of our business. 100% of these folks are not happy with the law.

Zardoz
Zardoz

Now that Supreme Director Trump has been coronated, government statistics will always reflect positive on Dear Leader. God bless Supreme Director Trump!

Greggg
Greggg

12 out of 12 months revised lower sounds more like the original numbers are "massaged" upward.

BaronAsh
BaronAsh

""Yes, seasonal adjustments most certainly play a role during the winter. During January, the NOAA reported the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 35.5°F, 5.4°F above the 20th century average, ranking fifth warmest in the 126-year record." "

Interesting, but of course you can have a colder winter in various Northern States with a warmer one in Southern States or no end of other variations. What probably matters more than the average temperature nationally is any change in distribution of population in high productivity zones. Generally, people are leaving the colder states and moving into the warmer ones; that may have more to do with boomer generation preferences than climate changes; in any case, that sort of population/productivity shift probably has more effect than the average national temperature per se.


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