Friday, June 01, 2007

Another jobs data conflict 

This is the sort of thing that is causing me hair loss.
The BED {Business Employment Dynamics} survey is based on the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) which is far more comprehensive than the BLS� monthly snapshot. It showed the economy created about 19,000 private-sector jobs in the third quarter, compared to almost 500,000 indicated in the monthly figures for that period. It also shows the number of construction jobs dropped by 77,000, in contrast to the increase of 19,000 jobs shown in the monthly surveys.

But Thursday�s GDP report contained clues that that disparity did not persist into the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department�s Bureau of Economic Analysis revised up total wage income in the fourth quarter by 0.5%, to $6.195 trillion from $6.162 trillion. That�s based on their access to the fourth quarter QCEW data, which has not been released to the public.
I think we've reached a point where the monthly data need to be updated more frequently than the annual benchmarking. And anyone thinking the coincidence of two job numbers being identical is more than a coincidence, plus come to office hours for extra tutoring.