Thursday, September 17, 2015

Employment: Preliminary annual benchmark revision shows downward adjustment of 208,000 jobs

by Bill McBride on 9/17/2015 10:05:00 AM

The BLS released the preliminary annual benchmark revision showing 208,000 fewer payroll jobs as of March 2015. The final revision will be published when the January 2016 employment report is released in February 2016. Usually the preliminary estimate is pretty close to the final benchmark estimate.

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

In accordance with usual practice, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is announcing the preliminary estimate of the upcoming annual benchmark revision to the establishment survey employment series. The final benchmark revision will be issued on February 5, 2016, with the publication of the January 2016 Employment Situation news release.

Each year, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey employment estimates are benchmarked to comprehensive counts of employment for the month of March. These counts are derived from state unemployment insurance (UI) tax records that nearly all employers are required to file. For National CES employment series, the annual benchmark revisions over the last 10 years have averaged plus or minus three-tenths of one percent of total nonfarm employment. The preliminary estimate of the benchmark revision indicates a downward adjustment to March 2015 total nonfarm employment of -208,000 (-0.1 percent). ...
Using the preliminary benchmark estimate, this means that payroll employment in March 2015 was 208,000 lower than originally estimated. In February 2016, the payroll numbers will be revised down to reflect the final estimate. The number is then "wedged back" to the previous revision (March 2014).

There are 33,000 more construction jobs than originally estimated.

This preliminary estimate showed 255,000 fewer private sector jobs, and 47,000 additional government jobs (as of March 2015).