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Revisions To The Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Report

In my latest Employment Update for January, I pointed out that the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the December month-over-month change for Nonfarm Payroll Employment upward from 252K to 329K and November from 353K to 423K, a total of 147K to the upside. However, the BLS's initial estimate for this metric should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. See this link to historic revisions back to 1979 on the BLS website.

In the chart below, I plot the change since the turn of the century from the first to third estimate for each month through November 2014, the most recent month for which we have three estimates.

(click to enlarge)

During this time frame, there were 109 upward revisions and 67 downward revisions. The absolute mean (average) revision was 45K, which breaks down as 47K for the upward adjustments and 43K for the downward adjustments. The latest third… Read More …