Today’s jobs report perfectly illustrates why anyone trying to get their arms around reality needs to look at not seasonally adjusted or NSA data before opining on the meaning of the seasonally adjusted (SA) data.
I’m working up comments currently, but until then, anyone looking at the NSA and SA numbers compare will get the main point, which is that today’s job-market results were far worse than the SA numbers alone would lead you to believe:
More shortly. In the meantime, note that the Birth/Death model estimate of net new jobs created which BLS somehow “knows” are out there but can’t yet find was 206,000. Last year it was 172,000. That’s 23% of all NSA net new jobs. In light of the malaise we’ve seen in the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy for going on four years — Surely they jest.
UPDATE: Points –
- The number of NSA total jobs actually added in April of 896K (which already has a Birth/Death figure which seems artificially high), which is 283,000 lower than last year (1,179K minus 896K), somehow led to a seasonally adjusted figure which is only 136,000 lower.
- The number of private-sector jobs added in April of 896K, which is 257,000 lower than last year (1,153K minus 896K), somehow led to a seasonally adjusted figure which is only 134,000 lower.
- Both numbers also badly trail April 2010.
I’m NOT saying that BLS is cooking the SA calculations (though I have a real problem with the tone of teh verbiage in its report today; it has a distinct aroma of supervisory influence). I AM saying that if you take them as the last word, you’re going to come away believing that April was a pretty bad month in the job market. The truth is that it stunk to high heaven, and that SA numbers close to zero would have more closely reflected April’s reality.
Despite millions of people looking for work and (if you believe the media hype) the right conditions for slow, steady growth, the economy added far fewer jobs than in either of the best two years (2004 and 2005) during the previous decade, and far fewer than the universally acknowledged mediocre performances (compared to what is needed to really get the economy going) of the previous two years.
As I see it, the economy came up 400,000 jobs short of the 1.3 million I contended in my post earlier this morning would be needed to demonstrate genuine improvement.