Thursday, September 27, 2012

Employment: Preliminary annual benchmark revision shows 386,000 additional jobs

by Bill McBride on 9/27/2012 11:36:00 AM

This morning the BLS released the preliminary annual benchmark revision showing an additional 386,000 payroll jobs as of March 2012. The final revision will be published next February when the January 2012 employment report is released on February 1, 2013. Usually the preliminary estimate is pretty close to the final benchmark estimate.

The annual revision is benchmarked to state tax records. From the BLS:

Establishment survey benchmarking is done on an annual basis to a population derived primarily from the administrative file of employees covered by unemployment insurance (UI). The time required to complete the revision process—from the full collection of the UI population data to publication of the revised industry estimates—is about 10 months. The benchmark adjustment procedure replaces the March sample-based employment estimates with UI-based population counts for March. The benchmark therefore determines the final employment levels ...
Using the preliminary benchmark estimate, this means that payroll employment in March 2012 was 386,000 higher than originally estimated. In February 2013, the payroll numbers will be revised up to reflect this estimate. The number is then "wedged back" to the previous revision (March 2011).

This means the BLS under counted payroll jobs by 386,000 as of March 2012. This preliminary estimate showed an additional 453,000 private sector jobs, but 67,000 fewer government jobs (as of March 2012).

For details on the benchmark revision process, see from the BLS: Benchmark Article and annual benchmark revision for the new preliminary estimate.

The following table shows the benchmark revisions since 1979.

YearPercent benchmark revisionBenchmark revision (in thousands)
19790.5447
1980-0.1-63
1981-0.4-349
1982-0.1-113
1983*36
19840.4353
1985*-3
1986-0.5-467
1987*-35
1988-0.3-326
1989*47
1990-0.2-229
1991-0.6-640
1992-0.1-59
19930.2263
19940.7747
19950.5542
1996*57
19970.4431
1998*44
19990.2258
20000.4468
2001-0.1-123
2002-0.2-313
2003-0.2-122
20040.2203
2005-0.1-158
20060.6752
2007-0.2-293
2008-0.1-89
2009-0.7-902
2010-0.3-378
20110.1162
20120.3386
* less than 0.05%

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