Bank Of America's Ethan Harris Explains The Birth Death Adjustment

Tyler Durden's picture

Yesterday Zero Hedge pointed out that in addition to the 54,000 NFP number missing every single economist estimate, another very troubling statistic was that the BLS added some 206,000 "jobs" courtesy of its monthly birth/death adjustment: numbers which tend to be added on a monthly basis and then subtracted (especially during periods of economic contraction) in one annual benchmark revision which is largely ignored by everyone. In fact, as Peter Tchir pointed out, over the past 4 months, the NFP has added 752k jobs, of which 610k have been birth death jobs. B/D has added 271K jobs YTD in 2011, 510K in 2010, 585K in 2009, 825K in 2008, 883K in 2007, 1002K in 2006, etc, in in the last decade has never once subtracted from the full year tally, which would subsequently be revised lower. You get the picture. Well, yesterday, Bloomberg's Tom Keene sat down with Bank of America chief economist Ethan Harris, who just like every other Wall Street economist has been clueless on the direction of the economy in 2011, and asked him to explain just what the B/D model is, why it exists, and whether it represent data manipulation. The relevant segment begins just over 5 minutes into the clip below.

 

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trav7777's picture

Ima adjust my package and describe that because it has about the same relevance to the real world of employment

flacon's picture

What the hell is the matter with that old man's voice? He sounds like Chrissy Matthews but on steorids.

dkny's picture

A bigger problem is the shaky camera method they decided to use to broadcast business news - makes you think Jack Bauer might jump from behind one of those monitors. That, and the preference of showing charts by pointing a camera at another screen for the fuzzy effect.

I guess they figured they need to make biz news more exciting and engaging.

Franken_Stein's picture

 

He said "soft patch".

Seems to be meme.

Is this something like dry spell ?

 

Manthong's picture

Probably just a transitory period until the masses understand the brilliance of the Fed's policy adjustments and spend money they don't have for things they don't need again.

Printfaster's picture

I am agreeing with soft Patch. 

The question is "how soft?".

I am thinking "quicksand".

JLee2027's picture

"quicksand" economy - pretty good. I like it.

Printfaster's picture

The more that you thrash around trying to get out, the deeper you go.

Roaming Uranus Looking For Klingons's picture

TPTB will continue to speak jibberish as long as we let them.  The birth/death model is used as much as possible to hide the truth.  When you claim that there are 700k new jobs and 600k are due to the birth/death model, then anyone awake knows exactly what is going on............................

Racer's picture

And another question.. which I have asked many times before to various people and got pathetic replies (not ZH of course)... why does the 'market' take any notice of 250 to 500 telephone call responses to CONsumer sentiment??

 

Franken_Stein's picture

 

Forget about Fukushima.

 

Those 350 consumers, boy, they make world go round.

So you better don't mess with them, cause they are key, man !

 

Hulk's picture

Total softball question, unbelievable, yet so believable. Nothing about year end adjustments...Douchebags the both of them.

bugs_'s picture

You put your birth foot in,
You put your birth foot out;
You put your birth foot in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey-Pokey,
And you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about!

You put your death foot in,
You put your death foot out;
You put your death foot in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey-Pokey,
And you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about!

JW n FL's picture

luv it Bugs! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Cocomaan's picture

You got a shout out, Tyler. Be careful.

Yen Cross's picture

 Ethan is running scared. (ETHAN should be planning a summer vacation).

 

10044's picture

2 keywords here:

-assumption

-Tyler Durden

LOL

Yen Cross's picture

 Run hard COPPER! TYLER is spoton! Oh did I miss a SPOT?

Yen Cross's picture

  Hey check out the (XLF) .

XRAYD's picture

Later in the program, Keene talked with McKee of Bloomberg, who disputed Tyler's computations. He said that BLS adds the birth death estimate to an unadjusted/seasonal number whereas ZH had added the birth/death to an "adjusted" number - or something to this effect, implying that ZH was wrong!

 

Would appreciate some more analysis of this to get a grip on what this number actually means, and whether it is accurate or useful. Ethan said in the video that BLS has been trying to get it right for years - evidently without much success!

Arius's picture

what is there to know? government statistics says it all...to quote Mark Twain:

"the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and government statistics."

Reese Bobby's picture

I encourage to research your own question since it makes no sense.  Try Google.

traderjoe's picture

From http://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbd.htm. Note that there are TWO components to the B/D model, one of which IGNORES the "deaths". This number is not published or reflected anywhere...

    http://www.bls.gov/images/gray_round_bullet.gif); color: #333333;">
  • Earlier research indicated that while both the business birth and death portions of total employment are generally significant, the net contribution is relatively small and stable. To account for this net birth/death portion of total employment, BLS uses an estimation procedure with two components: the first component excludes employment losses from business deaths from sample-based estimation in order to offset the missing employment gains from business births. This is incorporated into the sample-based estimate procedure by simply not reflecting sample units going out of business, but imputing to them the same trend as the other firms in the sample. This step accounts for most of the net birth/death employment.
  • The second component is an ARIMA time series model designed to estimate the residual net birth/death employment not accounted for by the imputation. The historical time series used to create and test the ARIMA model was derived from the UI universe micro level database, and reflects the actual residual net of births and deaths over the past five years.
  • The net birth/death model component figures are unique to each month and exhibit a seasonal pattern that can result in negative adjustments in some months. These models do not attempt to correct for any other potential error sources in the CES estimates such as sampling error or design limitations.
  • Note that the net birth/death figures are not seasonally adjusted, and are applied to the not seasonally adjusted monthly employment estimates to derive the final CES employment estimates.

Roaming Uranus Looking For Klingons's picture

Coco, you also had a shot out.......be careful not to step in your own mess.

Yen Cross's picture

 Good point URANUS! Never catch a falling ( KNIFE)!

JW n FL's picture

ZeroHedge shout out on Bloomberg! it's about time!

 

on the down side.. doom and gloom are going main stream! Oops?!

Yen Cross's picture

  Bloom Berg is pathetic. I want the Black Screen back!  

  Yen Cross

Roaming Uranus Looking For Klingons's picture

Yen Crossover, you are a black screen.

Yen Cross's picture

  I don't recall an invitation? Nor do I want one.

Roaming Uranus Looking For Klingons's picture

Crossover, dont be mistaken, as this is no invitation.  But if you want a shot at the title, then bring it and I will box your ears.  I will leave your ears bloody and tarnished for life.  That is what I do to fools like you.  Thank you very much -- punk.

Yen Cross's picture

 Any ideas for the Sunday open GOD? AKA URANUS.

Roaming Uranus Looking For Klingons's picture

None.  Just stay heavy in metals and roll into FAZ when the banks rollover.  Coming soon....

Yen Cross's picture

 No geo- political thoughts? No Bond spreads?merger talks and q2 filings? No Fed and ECB talks? That is just the tip of the ice burg! ( PUN INTENDED)

Tater Salad's picture

Nice work on Roaming Yen, he's all show and no go...besides he's so brilliant he found it necissary to buy a farm in Argentina for the pending "heat" that's coming.  Sounds like UFO's to me, many sightings, just still looking...

Hope he doesn't "box my ears", sounds like a scary dude!

gmrpeabody's picture

Another "ear boxer"! This one seems new to the game.

Conrad Murray's picture

ZeroHedge shout out on Bloomberg! it's about time!

 

Give this classic a listen

http://media.bloomberg.com/bb/avfile/Markets/Analyst_Calls/vrT.qGWIoYPk.mp3

philgramm's picture

Sorry if someone has posted this already.  One of the best Jim Rickards interviews in a long time.

 

http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/Broadcast/Entries/2011/6/4_Jim_Ri...

knowless's picture

it blows my mind that the name of a fictional charector who led an anarchist uprising with a plot to literally demolish the worlds banking centers in a primitivist push to wipe out all debt records was used as a pseudonym by an anonymous blogger who is now being talked about in the MSM.

always liked palahniuks books.

Roaming Uranus Looking For Klingons's picture

Knowless, learn how to spell Chuck Palahniuk, then speak/type your jibberish. 

knowless's picture

it has taken so long for someone to call me on my gibberish here. long overdue imo. i'll fix it just for you.

Roaming Uranus Looking For Klingons's picture

YC, now I am starting to get it.  But this is what I meant by some of the foolish comments that get posted.

Yen Cross's picture

 Thank you! We will talk over the Pacific. P.S. I'm a young 45!

knowless's picture

do you mean hazardous or stupid? I spell checked so you wouldn't be offended=-)

phungus_mungus's picture

The BS from the BLS has been piling up for months now... its hard to sell the idea jobs are coming back to a public where 25 million are out of work and more people give up looking each month than find a job...

 

Patiently awaiting the riots and looting to start.... 

Greeny's picture

There is plenty of Jobs at least in IT sector, which I

following, nearly as many as in 1990's. Yes, in USA.

Some of you, lazy punks, must be departed to Mexico,

or something, to feel better about US in comparison.

No Jobs? Riots? Move your Ass off the couch ones

and look around..

Reese Bobby's picture

Here's an idea for you Gandhi:  Learn English and then shut the fuck up.

Greeny's picture

Learn VB.net, Java, PHP, XML and how behave properly,

don't drink too much and stop smoking,

then maybe you going to get job, which

is better, than flipping the burgers in nearest MCDonalds.

And I'll be your manager than, even with broken English.

 

Reese Bobby's picture

So your advice is that I should not drink and labor at grunt level programming until I can score a job as a McDonald's manager?

Now I feel guilty.  Good luck to you Gurdeep...