Arnold Kling  

The Two Employment Surveys

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The divergence between the payroll survey and the household survey of employment has been a big issue over the past year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently offered its analysis. The whole article is worth reading. Here are a few excerpts.


As part of its annual review of intercensal population estimates, the U.S. Census Bureau determined that a downward adjustment should be made to the household survey population controls. This adjustment stemmed from revised estimates of net international migration for 2000 through 2003. In keeping with usual practice, the new controls were used in the survey starting with data for January 2004. Estimates for December 2003 and earlier months were not revised to reflect the new (lower) population controls.

...As a convenience to its data users, BLS created a research series that smoothes the level shifts in employment resulting from the January 2000, 2003, and 2004 population control adjustments.


Thanks to Steve Antler for the pointer.

For Discussion. Should the BLS go back and revise the household employment data in line with the "research series"?


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CATEGORIES: Labor Market



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The author at The Big Picture in a related article titled BLS on Payroll vs. Household Survey writes:
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics weighs in on the now thoroughly discreditied Payroll vs. Household Survey pseudo-controversy. Economists Arnold Kling and Steve Antler each point to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis on the divergence between t... [Tracked on March 14, 2004 3:08 PM]
The author at BOPnews in a related article titled Resolving the Controversy between Payroll and Household Surveys writes:
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics weighs in on what should be a thoroughly resolved debate: Which is the more accurate and reliable measure of Job creations, the Payroll or Household Survey? Economists Arnold Kling and Steve Antler both referenced a... [Tracked on March 30, 2004 4:25 PM]
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