Technical Analysis

Bad data leads to bad decisions


It was a busy week and one of the things I missed was a report from the Philadelphia Fed’s research department that questioned non-farm payrolls numbers.

The report focuses on the March-June period and compares the comprehensive quarterly data against the usual monthly release. It’s not a small change:

In the aggregate, 10,500 net new jobs were added during the period rather than the 1,121,500 jobs estimated by the sum of the
states; the U.S. CES [non-farm payrolls report] estimated net growth of 1,047,000 jobs for the period.

Said another way, non-farm payrolls were nearly nil from March-June.

Now some of those jobs appear to have been pushed to earlier periods so it’s not as bad as it seems but if the Fed is concerned with trajectory, then there might be more slowing than the monthly jobs reports have indicated.

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