The Seasonal Adjustment Process and Initial Claims for Unemployment

The problem is that there are not exactly 52 weeks in a year. For “prior year” Mr. Blumer used the week ending January 14, 2012 when the seasonal factor was 144.2. The question is whether that was the correct week for comparison purposes. Continue Reading →

The September Jobs Report

Did the U.S. economy really gain 873,000 jobs in September, 2012? Was the unemployment rate really 7.8%? Economists have reacted to these numbers with a peculiar mixture of disbelief and defensiveness. No sane economist believes these numbers represent the current state of the U.S. economy. A quick-and-dirty estimate says that real GDP would have to grow at a 4 – 5% annual rate to add that many jobs. Actual GDP growth in recent quarters has been below 2.5%. … there’s a good chance that the 873,000 increase in jobs is simply a statistical fluke. Remember, total employment is estimated using a sample of 60,000 households. There is a large margin of error.
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