Hoisted from the Archives: What Was the Point of Robert Woodward's "The Agenda"?

Note to Self: The establishment-survey payroll-employment number (red line) contain within them a guess as to how many newly-formed forms there are that have not yet caught up to and entered the payroll system. When a recession starts, that guess at the fudge factor can be way high.

On the other hand, the household-survey employment number (blue line) has a lot more statistical noise in it.

The bet right now is that late last year the household survey interviewers just happened by luck on a bunch of people enthusiastic about working, but nothing is guaranteed. It might be that the firm birth-death guess is leading the establishment survey (red line) astray:

Civilian Employment Level FRED St Louis Fed

(There also, of course, is the consideration that the establishment-survey counts a person with two jobs twice, and a person who is off-the-books not at all, and there is no reason why those numbers should be constant fractions of employment.)

#notetoself #macro #forecasting #labormarket

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