Monday, September 05, 2016

August Employment Revisions

by Bill McBride on 9/05/2016 11:24:00 AM

Two years ago, 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 218,000.  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 2016 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 seasonal teacher hiring and the end of the summer jobs).

Overall I think the August 2016 employment report was decent and indicates further improvement in the labor market.


August Employment Report (000s)
YearInitialRevisedRevision
2005169194+25
200612818153
2007-4-24-20
2008-84-266-182
2009-216-2124
2010-54-3420
20110107107
20129619094
2013169269100
201414221876
2015173150-23
2016151--- ---

Note: In 2008, the BLS significantly under reported job 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.