Sunday, September 06, 2015

August Employment Revisions

by Bill McBride on 9/06/2015 11:43:00 AM

Last year, in 2014, the BLS initially reported job gains in August at 142,000. Douglas Holtz-Eakin wrote "Disaster!". I couldn't help myself and made fun of Holtz-Eakin.

Not only wasn't the initial August 2014 report a "disaster", but it has since been revised up to 213,000.  And 2014 was the best year for employment gains since the '90s.  Some "disaster"!

Here is a table of revisions for August since 2005.  Note that most of the revisions have been up.   This doesn't mean that the August 2015 revision will be up, but it does seem likely.   I'm not sure why the BLS has underestimated job growth in August (possibly because of the timing of end of the summer job changes).

Overall I think the August employment report was decent and indicates further improvement in the labor market.


August Employment Report (000s)
YearInitialRevisedRevision
200516919627
200612818557
2007-4-17-13
2008-84-259-175
2009-216-217-1
2010-54-3915
20110128128
20129618892
201316925687
201414221371
2015173--- ---

Note: In 2008, the BLS significantly under reported jobs losses. That wasn't surprising since the initial models the BLS used missed turning points (something I wrote about in 2007). The BLS has since improved this model.