Posts Tagged ‘book cooking’

What to look for in next week’s jobs report …

March 1, 2012

Next week’s unemployment report will be quite interesting.

As we’ve posted before, Gallup’s daily tracking report indicated that the unemployment rate was about 9% in mid-February … and has risen to 9.2%. 

Gallup’s mid-month number is usually a good predictor of the BLS’s end-of-month number. 

A good test of whether the books are being cooked is to look at the seasonal adjustment factor being applied to total employment.

In January, the BLS increased its seasonal adjustment factor … so, total employment went from a seasonally unadjusted loss of jobs to a seasonally adjusted gain in the number of jobs … and the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 8.3%.

Below is the historical data for the past couple of years re: how much the BLS jacks up February’s total employment numbers via seasonal adjustment.

Takeaway: if the seasonally adjusted total employment is more than about 1.18% higher than the non-seasonally adjusted number, you can suspect some book-cooking.

Let’s see what happens …

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In advance of this week’s unemployment report … Gallup up to 9.2%

February 27, 2012

In case you missed it this weekend, Gallup’s daily tracking report put unemployment at 9.2%up from 8.3% in mid-January.

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The BLS report this Friday will be vey interesting.  Even with more book-cooking via changed methodologies, sample changes, and seasonal adjustments — it’ll be hard to put lipstick on this pig

My prediction: the BLS rate will go from 8.3% to 8.5% …. with a lot smoke re: seasonal adjustments … but  nothing would surprise me now that the bean counters have been politicized.

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