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Minyan Mailbag - BLS



Note: Our goal in Minyanville is to remove intimidation from the financial markets and encourage an interactive dialogue among the Minyanship. We share this next discussion with that very intent.

Prof. Succo,

I am no fundamental analyst, but how does the Department of Labor take an unadjusted increase in jobs of 704,000, and massage it (seasonally adjust it) into 92,000?

I looked at the July - August period: 139K into 128K adjusted (revised).

I looked at the 12 month data: 1,781,000 into 1,711,000 new jobs, adjusted.

I do not have the data for previous Septembers.

Supposedly the weather (hurricanes) was not a significant factor.

Would one of the professors kindly explain how one month's data was so massively reduced (adjusted)? I have seen no comment on this point, thus far.

Many thanks,
Minyan Steve


The BLS makes adjustments for things such as teachers coming back to work, retail sales personnel, etc. in order to smooth employment numbers so as they are comparable. This provides a much more accurate picture of employment trends.

Otherwise, to use the example of teachers, every July the employment numbers would show big layoffs and every September big hiring though these particular changes are a function of the seasonality in school employment.

Prof. Succo

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