Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Employment: Preliminary annual benchmark revision shows upward adjustment of 95,000 jobs

by Bill McBride on 9/06/2017 10:13:00 AM

The BLS released the preliminary annual benchmark revision showing 95,000 additional payroll jobs as of March 2017. The final revision will be published when the January 2018 employment report is released in February 2018. 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 in February 2018 with the publication of the January 2018 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 two-tenths of one percent of total nonfarm employment. The preliminary estimate of the benchmark revision indicates an upward adjustment to March 2017 total nonfarm employment of 95,000 (0.1 percent).
emphasis added
Using the preliminary benchmark estimate, this means that payroll employment in March 2017 was 95,000 higher than originally estimated. In February 2018, the payroll numbers will be revised up to reflect the final estimate. The number is then "wedged back" to the previous revision (March 2016).

Construction was revised up by 50,000 jobs, and manufacturing revised up by 23,000 jobs.

This preliminary estimate showed 98,000 more private sector jobs, and 3,000 fewer government jobs (as of March 2017).