CEDBR reports employment data revised downward
Mar 30, 2010 11:48 AM | Print
Jeremy Hill

Each year the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University updates its employment database with revisions done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This year, employment statistics were revised downward by a significant percentage, according to Jeremy Hill, director of the CEDBR.

The CEDBR has put together some estimates to show the changes.

Nonfarm wage and salary data, otherwise known as current employment statistics (CES), are not static numbers. They undergo numerous revisions over time by the BLS.  Each month BLS surveys approximately 150,000 businesses and government agencies, representing approximately 390,000 worksites, throughout the United States. These data are principal economic indicators and serve as input to many other economic series. Each time the CES employment estimates are revised, additional information that was not previously available is incorporated into the estimates.

There are three main reasons for employment revisions:

  • Monthly revisions are done to include late sample reports.
  • Annual revisions are made due to benchmarking.
  • Irregular revisions are made to avoid discontinuities while incorporating methodological changes. 

Each annual benchmark revision affects 21 months of data for the not seasonally adjusted series and five years of data for the seasonally adjusted series. In February, the March 2009 benchmark revisions were made. These revisions impacted the Wichita MSA employment numbers significantly. 

» See a table of the changes

The original annual average nonfarm wage and salary employment indicated a 2.5 percent decline from 2008 to 2009. However, that percentage doubled to a 5.1 percent decline after revisions were made. For some industries, even the direction of percentage growth changed. For example, the original data showed a 0.7 percent increase in the service sectors from 2008 to 2009; whereas, the revised employment numbers indicate a 2.7 percent decline. 

These revisions are necessary to improve the accuracy of employment data as new information becomes available. Revisions do not represent a change in the economy. Adjustments are made to more accurately represent current economic conditions.

As a result of these most recent revisions, CEDBR will update its Wichita MSA employment forecast that was originally released in December. Access to this revision will be available in CEDBR's March e-connection. To subscribe to this e-publication, visit the CEDBR Web site at www.wichita.edu/cedbr.

For more information, contact Jeremy Hill, (316) 978-5184 or jeremy.hill@wichita.edu
Created on Mar 30, 2010 11:48 AM; Last modified on Mar 30, 2010 12:06 PM
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